The culture of Nice

Michael Stephens wrote about the “culture of no” and how it stops innovation and development. Today at a seminar for librarians I was in a foul mood and sat observing my fellow librarians as they discussed the future of libraries and librarians.   The one thing that jarred my nerves the whole day was the prevalent culture of nice. Everybody was nice, libraries are nice, they don´t want to make too much fuss, don´t want to upset the boat etc. I was frigging mad when I left and felt a great need to vent my feelings lest they ruin the rest of my day. I´m in a mood where I´m about to give up on librarians. At least the norwegian version. They are so averse to conflict and so hesitant about development that I despair of any real development and a chance for the libraries in the 21st century. Right now libraries have all the characteristics of the Dodo. Fat, complacent and resisting change even when it comes in the form of a club to the head.

Right now I believe that few libraries will survive the next seven years. (thank Dawkins I´m usually mistaken when I predict the future).  The libraries that adapt and change with the times and their users will fare well and have a bright future. The rest, well its a organization eat organization world out there, and most will dissapear in a cloud of Google.

I am dissapointed in my fellow librarians who totally ignores their professional duty to actually explore and understand the information universe their users live in. Business as usual is not a good way to handle kids who can find the information they need elsewhere and free wi-fi is no longer a selling point.

I´m getting depressed thinking about the way most librarians reject any idea that challenges the status quo and demands professional development. Just the discussion on Library 2.0 in Norway is enough to make me want to change business. What the H**L is wrong with librarians that make them discuss the frigging NAME and  how a “majority” prefer to perfect Library 1.0 before moving on (after they take retirement) to 2.0. GET REAL!

I´m dissapointed and depressed and sad. Better get home to the kids.

I'm a norwegian librarian.

Posted in Hype or Hope?, Librarian 2.0, Library 2.0, Norway, Users
6 comments on “The culture of Nice
  1. Rocke-D says:

    Do you think this bullshit will make the situation better? But ok, I`ve taken the point. I`ll find something else to do.

  2. Rocke-D: I know that this will not make anything better, apart from me releasing some steam and calming down, but if you don’t agree, why find something else to do? Why not prove me wrong?

  3. […] a bugle call to wake people up? Totally mistaken in that case. Most librarians who read the “culture of nice“-blogpost will feel attacked and unfairly critizised, one librarian has already posted a […]

  4. Thomas Frey says:

    I work as a futurist, spending much of my time speaking to library groups on the Future of Libraries and I understand your frustration. Most of the people attracted to work in libraries have a more passive personality which goes along well with their need to keep everything well organized. Very bright people who love to help others, but not ones who like to live on the edge.

    The primary change I see coming is a transition from the passive library culture to a more active one, switching patrons from consumers of information, to producers of information. You can read more on my ideas in this article:

    I hope this helps,

    Thomas J. Frey
    Executive Director
    The DaVinci Institute
    PO Box 270315
    Louisville, CO 80027
    (303) 666-4133 – Google’s Top Rated Futurist Speaker – Over one million page views per month

  5. Dr Greg Garcia says:

    I stumbled onto this website researching something else, but your comments struck a chord partly because of the honest emotion that enveloped your perceptive remarks. I love books, magazines, published stuff, and the clergy in this church are the librarians. True, I don’t need them as I once did, whether because I’m now 66 years old or because of the internet, or both. But I do wish they would help me organize all of this information I now have access to and educate me to be more effective. So, don’t go away, librarians. I suspect we need you now more than ever – we just don’t know that yet!

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