Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Center for the Future of Libraries: A YS Opportunity

You may or may not have heard the announcement yesterday that there will be a Center for the Future of Libraries Advisory Group.

Oh yeah, and I'm on it.

I KNOW.

I KNOW.

You may be wondering how in the world I, of all people, was asked to be a part of this in the first place, and why in the world I would actually accept. Didn't I just write two months ago about how much of a "library futurist"-averse pearl clutcher I was? What is even happening right now? So I thought I'd shed a little light on that for you.

First of all, if you Googled my name to see what I'm about, welcome! I'm happy and slightly terrified that you're here! Here are a few things you can read up on to get to know me:
--First thing's first: Here's WTF is up with my blog's name.
--Like a good rant? Here's a few I've written.
--I also run my mouth a lot about child management.
--I shared a lot about my youth services programming at my former library. You can take a look at my traditional programming as well as my passive programming, which usually has stuff you can print off and do yourself.

Okay, dear old readers, it's storytime!
So a few weeks ago I got an email with the subject "Invitation to ALA Center for the Future of Libraries Working Group" from a name I didn't recognize (but was Miguel Figueroa*). I hardly read it and deleted it.

*I later was told by Courtney Young that she "may have had something to do " with my invitation, which is exciting and while we don't talk all that much it made more sense than someone randomly finding me and thinking that I was good for this. So there you go.

Then last week, I get the message forwarded back to me, asking me to please consider joining and that the roster would be finalized by the end of the week. 

I admit I was in a predicament of sorts. I knew the Center for the Future of Libraries was attached to the problematic Summit on the Future of Libraries, and being the disbeliever of "futurism thought leaders" I am I was all kinds of skeptical about what would come out of this (side note: I didn't write that press release, obviously, since there are no GIFs in it, but I disapprove of the term "thought leadership"). BUT: very often, youth services departments are not invited to these tables. And since it was late in the game, if I turned down this appointment there would be a very real chance that they wouldn't ask anyone else.



I took a deep breath and imagined what this really could be: the opportunity to bring a YS librarian horde to the "library future" table, sharing ideas from everyone that wants to participate. Saying your names out loud. Thinking about all of you empowered me to say yes.




So here's the deal: We're doing this. And I want your input.
We can talk about makerspaces and 3D printing and gamification and whatever else, but I'm extra psyched to hear your those on stuff like department structure, physical space, partnerships, outreach, what we need and what we can really do here.
Here is a Google Form that will soon find a permanent home in a tab. Please fill it out. I will read all of it. And as I said, if you include your name, I will use it. We have so much good work to do together.

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