The world can feel mad, sometimes. We are always doing something for kids, family, friends and ourselves. We work endlessly and, at times, we go home exhausted. There is hardly time to sit and rest. Time to be still. Doing something every minute of the day is rewarded and worn as a badge of honor for us Americans.
I ascribe to a different ideology. Work less and quality over quantity. More quality experiences over a lot mediocre experiences. Quality time with friends and family over a lot of unrememberable moments. Libraries should follow this philosophy too.
In my 16 years with libraries, I’ve watched us rev up. Every year, doing more events and activities than you can shake a stick at (one of my mother’s favorite sayings). Somewhere down the line, something grew in the library world’s subconscious that said: “to survive and to compete with bookstores, recreational places and such, we must have MORE events, activities, and programs.” I think we may have gone overboard.
Sometimes we are planning one event before finishing the other and doing it without thoughtfulness in planning or understanding how that event fits goals, vision, mission and brand. We run after the new and novel instead of building quality experiences with our core products, services, and spaces. At times, we are just existing in moments that do not lead to real outcomes.
Let’s do differently and keep these things in mind. We do not have to fill every minute with activity. Let’s have 18 – 24-month calendars for our events and programs and in planning them, let us make sure we plan for downtime and post mortem meetings in between our signature events and programs to let our creative minds rest, to learn from our experiences and to enjoy the successes.
Let’s make sure that the experiences in our libraries benefit us and will be appreciated and remembered by our community. That they fit our mission, vision and goals. That it fits our brand philosophies. I leave you with a couple of book to enjoy and a blog on rest and the benefits of it.