I've been reflecting alot on this lately. Of course, winter gets me into "the -wonder-of-snowflakes" territory.
But really, anyone who works in libraries - for a system (county-wide, regional or state-wide); for a multi-branch system; in stand-alone libraries in neighboring municipalities dotted one after another in large urban areas or far-flung neighbors in rural counties - gets this true uniqueness of each library and branch.
We all share the core values of librarianship. We all work to improve the way we serve our communities through working through standards developed for youth work like the ALSC and YALSA competencies. We network like maniacs.
But still and all, each library and each different staffer in a continuing round of leavings and hirings; changing demographics and adaptation to opportunities bring unique talents, education, perspectives, ideas, talents and skills to the table. New wrinkles; successes from past jobs; new adaptations; realignments; tweaks and new directions based on each community and neighborhood served.
It gives me a constant frisson of delight to walk into every library - and re-visit and re-visit - to see all the changes, innovations and amazing inventions that are an ever-evolving part of each library's landscape. It's people, it's learning, it's snowflakery!
One of my favorite return trips involve visits to libraries where I have worked - whether as a line staffer or manager. I love what gets brought to the table. New staff and managers bring new approaches and expand services in new directions - seemingly un-thought of but all perfectly and deliciously unique and evolutionary.
|Old YS Department arrangement - preschool area|
|Older kids area in back of room|
Ranganathan's Fifth Law: The Library is a growing organism.
|...get the protected area by far end of the room.|
|The older kids get the entrance|
It is this variety in the midst of all our shared values and networking online and in person that strengthens my pride in and belief that library staffers will continue to problem solve, tweak, adapt, explore, discover and push - uniquely and with an always new eye - the envelope in each of their own situations.
It's what makes us nimble. It's what makes us strong. It's what makes each and every one of us and each and every one of our libraries so like much like a snowflake - something to be be appreciated for its individuality and celebrated collectively.