Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Stopping the Echo to Start the Dialogue

A recent posting over at Organsing Chaos highlighted one of the recurring obstacles we as librarians place in front of ourselves. They're referring to it as the Echo Chamber (see Ned Potter's (the wikiman) video below). It's the apparent difficulty we have conveying our value to outsiders. How often have you or one of your colleagues repeated this pronouncement in one form or another: "Librarians just aren't good at marketing ourselves!" The more we repeat it the more it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy! So let's just say no! Let's quit accepting this as fact and start challenging it. The next time you hear it engage in some probing. Ask the speaker if it's a fact or just a perception. Ask for some examples. Have some counter examples ready to share. Ask what steps can be taken to help us become better advocates for our profession. We have to change our own perspective so that we can be more effective in educating others. When those outside of the chamber begin to recognize the value we bring there may be new and unexpected opportunities for collaboration!

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