|Image via Memecenter.|
The above was informed by Sharon Epps' closing presentation at the Maryland Chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries day-long program on failure at The Johns Hopkins University on Friday, November 15th. Details about the program are here.
Can we make organizations a safe space for failure, for experimentation? If so, how?
As a library director, I fail on a regular basis. Armed with data, with the language used by our strategic plan, and with righteousness on my side I walk into a room and make my case. We need more full-time staff, more money for materials, and administrative rights on library computers, among other wants and needs... and I fail at all of these. To be a library director is to fail over and over and over again.
To the extent that I can change the organizational culture of my place of work to accept failure, and to encourage risk-taking, experimentation, and curiosity, I'll do so. I'm unsure of my abilities outside the library building, but inside
I called a meeting of all our full-time and part-time staff, and told them to treat the library like a laboratory. We’re going to try some things here. We will fail some of the time, but that’s life, and I’ll do my best to limit the damage.I'm grateful to ACRL MD for holding this program. I wish we in librarianship would not only talk more about failure, but encourage it. I hope this is a start.
Source of the above offset is here: New Year, New Library (kind of)
Elsewhere on this site, explore the tag "failure."