More on Johnson

If everything “bad” is indeed good for you, what does this mean for the world of Libraries and/or Educational organizations?

I think the answer to this question is that libraries and information organizations of all kinds need to begin the agonizing process of embracing and encouraging what may be considered non-traditional behavior in their institutions. Google has long kept their employees happy by providing free food and unlimited ping pong (among other things). Even though that is not exactly the same idea, the point remains that sometimes encouraging playful and otherwise “unorthodox” behavior can be a boon to an organization instead of corrupting it as may be feared.

An obvious example of this in the library is the use of video games to drum up an audience for some programs. Recently, of course, there were some issues with librarians playing games at work, and the jury is still out on the acceptability of that situation, but the point remains that designing programs around video games for patrons does provide a certain incentive for an audience that may not normally be motivated to visit. Or, provides a new outlet for participation for active library users that are looking for something new to try.

Of course there are right ways and wrong ways to handle a situation that deals with issues like whether or not to play pool at the office, or spend a day filming a YouTube video about your library’s new Rock Band setup. Perhaps their hearts and thumbs were in the right place, or maybe that was indeed a waste of resources. Either way, I think the potential within the library to transform some bad things into good ones, and maybe sign up a few new library cards in the process.


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