Friday, 24 June 2011

Coasting is not an option

I'm reading Jonathan Raban's wonderful travel book "Coasting", which is about Raban's voyage sailing solo around the British Isles in the 1980s. Early on in the book Raban goes off on a diversion about the various meanings of the word "coasting" and says he was hauled over the coals at school for "coasting". His school report said he was not using his talents, not exerting himself, and was just sailing along.

Then I came across Michael Stephens' heretical thoughts on transforming library science education, set out recently in some of his slides posted on Stephens' Tame the Web blog. The slides are from a presentation at the Future of Academic Libraries Symposium.

One of the slides struck a chord with me. It was entitled : "coasting is not an option".

I think Raban's school teacher and Michael Stephens are making the same point and it's a familiar point, made by many: use your talents, make the most of your opportunities, step out of you comfort zone and take a few risks. Libraries are changing so fast that we can't afford to coast.

If you want to be inspired by a group of librarians who are NOT coasting read some of the posts on the SLA Future Ready 365 blog 2011

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