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Librarians and Courage

Chris Guillebeau blogs at The Art of Nonconformity. I highly recommend that you add it to your RSS feeds. I loved the post below and have taken a big slice but recommend that you read the whole post at this link.

I think it was Rousseau that said, Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.” My friend, Michael Stephens, often talks about libraries that encourage the heart and he’s right, we do. Librarians best qualities are subversiveness, courage, approachability and empathy.

Chris writes:

“If you are confident, they will say you are arrogant.

If you are deliberate, they will say you are too sure of yourself.

If you have a sense of purpose, they will say you are self-absorbed.

If you know who you are, they will ask, “Who are you, anyway?”

If you believe in kindness and compassion, they will say you are naïve.

If you are a dreamer, they will say “join the real world.”

If you are a rebel, they will try to shut you down.

But you will know:

They are envious because they want what you have.

They are afraid of change even as they crave it.

They are projecting their own regret into resentment of you.

It’s not all bad news: some of them will sort themselves out and end up joining you. Because you are a good person and have had plenty of false starts of your own, you’ll understand and welcome them warmly. We’ve missed you! you’ll say. It’s about time you made it.

As for the others, well, you will remember what Gandhi said:

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.””

So, as you approach this time of year where most of us celebrate something and many things and think about what and whom we care about, and think about what we’re thankful for, remember this:

Fear ignorance.
Libraries matter.
Libraries are light, ignorance is darkness.
Librarians make a difference.
Everyone and every community wins in the end with libraries.


Posted on: November 25, 2010, 6:03 am Category: Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Thanks for passing along the CD post. His ideas are great and I am glad to see it leaking into the library world!

    I just saw him at a wonderful book signing in Denver a few weeks ago and wished there were more librarians there. We need to embrace that we will go against the grain to ensure that we can provide the best service and information for all. It is not an easy task and requires creativity, unconventional thinking, and ideas and design.

  2. Thanks, Stephen and Sean! All the best with world domination, librarian style.