Writing has never been the primary way I choose to express myself. Typically it is through actions, or if paper is necessary through drawings, illustrations, visually showcasing my own ideas and thoughts. As such I apologize if my thoughts are not as articulate as everyone else who has posted so far.
I find that my moments of clarity come to me not while I try to distract myself, as Luker suggests, but rather when I am able to empty my mind and allow thoughts to form and solidify on their own. My preferred method of meditation – taking a nice LONG hot shower, where I can forget about the outside world, clear my head, let the tension out of my muscles as I am enveloped in water. This is where I find my thoughts become the most lucid. As I am fond of my computer, I will not venture into the shower for 15 minutes but try to discuss my area of interest as a fully clothed productive member of society.
One thought that I stumbled upon was how effectively could a library operate if it employed the honour system with regards to returning items and keeping them in good condition. E-books are allowing library users to not have to worry about returning their item on time, as they just stop working when the digital rights management times out the file. I do not believe that physical books will be completely replaced in libraries by e-books, but the way they are treated with regards to late fined and charges may. Does holding library patrons accountable for the material in which they borrow allow the library to provide the best possible service to the public? If patrons were not held accountable would that result in a net loss for the library in terms of both material, but also the service which they could provided to the general public? Would the public be more open to higher taxes to supplement the library’s lost revenue from fines?
That led me to think about what is the role of the library, what is its function now that information is widely available thanks to the internet. In the past if I had to get something done the only resource I had available to me was the library, and (I’m dating myself here) maybe Encarta 95. Now many people don’t NEED to go to the library to look up information. The library is going through an identity crisis, what is the place of a library in today’s society. How do we re-engage with the community? Is it through the library space? Should we cut back on certain aspects of the library, stream line it and provide other services? My own career goals involve children’s librarianship, and with that children’s programming. I see programming as way of changing the environment within a library. Is that what the focus should be for 21st century libraries?
My last thought brought me back to my childhood, where Pizza Hut had teamed up with schools, so that if you read a certain amount of books you got a punch card which would reward you with a personal pan Pizza Hut. Those delicious memories sparked the thought that, what if libraries were to partner up with companies/corporations to provide incentives for library usage. A happy meal toy for libraries. Of course this opens up a whole can of warms about a public service being in bed with a private for profit organization. Do we really want advertising directed to library users, shouldn’t that be excluded as the library represents a safe space? Would the increased revenue from sponsorship facilitate a growth in resources and thus services to the public? What is the general public’s opinion vs. frequent library users about sponsorship. What do you as the Pepsi Generation think?
Those are the musing that I had, and need to further examine.