“Facilitating” a.k.a. I am librarian hear me ROAR!!!
David Lankes’ (2011) thread on “facilitating” in his book The Atlas of New Librarianship made me want to go out, buy a black t-shirt, and spray paint “FACILITATOR” all over the front and back just so that everyone I meet while wearing said t-shit will know: as an aspiring librarian I am a force to be reckoned with! While there is a part of me that loves being in a quiet cozy corner surrounded by books, there is another part of me that wants to run out onto the moors at midnight and shout defiantly into the wind like Boudicca, warrior queen. I am after all, a daughter of aging hippies. Surely, somewhere within me there must be the seeds of a revolution. All that is needed are the right conditions.
But what are those right conditions? I won’t go as far to say that I hope that studying information science will provide those right conditions; but I am hoping that by studying information science I can get a better understanding of what those right conditions are. I want to know how revolutions are started and sustained. If I’m a librarian and I have a patron who walks through my door passionate about an issue, I want to be able to say that at the end of the day, like any good gardener I ‘facilitated’ or created the ideal conditions for that patron’s seed of inspiration to blossom into a full blown revolution!
Here I think it’s probably important to explain what I mean by ‘revolution.’ I don’t mean the violent overthrow of government, rather, when I use the term ‘revolution’ I mean anything that inspires an individual or group to, as Gandhi put it, “be the change [they] want to see in the world.” Ultimately, what intrigues me most about Lankes’ (2011) argument is the idea that librarians have a duty to not only empower themselves, but to empower others, and create networks of power from which the next internet, the next billion dollar idea, the next spiritual awakening, and the next game changing moment in history will arise. In that sense, I think librarians are a bit “Boudicca-esque.” They, like any good warrior queen (or king!), can provide leadership and rally a community together to solve problems and fight to live in a world of their own making.
Lankes, R. David (2011). The Atlas of New Librarianship. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.