Last week in the first post in this month’s YALSAblog Professional Learning series on innovation and change, I posted a set of resources to read, listen to, and view. This week it’s time to start a discussion about barriers to thinking differently about teen services in libraries and how the resource materials posted last week help you to think about new ways to overcome those barriers.
One of the barriers I regularly face, and also see in other people’s institutions, is that of time. There are lots of ways to think about time within the context of thinking differently. One of the things that I found the article about disruptive innovation focused on really well is that thinking differently, doing things differently, and disrupting traditional practice takes time. And, not only that, but it takes time to fail, analyze what didn’t work, and try a new or different approach. In libraries this time factor can be a really big barrier to thinking differently. It’s a lot more convenient and takes less time to keep doing things the way they have been done before.
Because of the time factor required in thinking differently in my work I like to think in what I often call mind-sized bites. For example, I often ask, what are the smaller pieces that we can work on to start the process of thinking differently, innovating, and making change? Can we start with a small focus and then build that out? I think that the examples (Apple and NetFlix) in the disruptive innovation article speak to that. I think about my first iPhone and all of the features I wanted that it didn’t have. Over time Apple improved and changed that product, based on user feedback and changes in society. The product was a first iteration. How do we iterate in teen services as way to manage the time “problem” in order to effectively work with and for adolescents?
This week let’s talk about this:
- What barriers do you face when it comes to thinking differently about service for and with teens?
- What did the resources from last week get you thinking about in relation to those barriers?
- Do you have thoughts about how time plays a factor in thinking differently – jumping off of my comments?
- What questions or comments do you have from what others are writing?
It would be great to have a discussion on this topic so feel free to post your own thoughts as well as replying to others.