Innovation Bandwagons

January 17, 2007

Once again, an unusually brief posting from me. ACRLog has something about the problem with “bandwagon innovation”. This issue resonates with me, actually, because I question the notion that libraries should jump on every technological trend and “paradigm shift.” There’s nothing wrong with innovation, but I’m not sure if these “quick fixes” provide the solutions we really seek.

The ACRLog posting links to something written by Jim Carroll, a futurist (and trends and innovation expert). His short piece lists some good reasons why we should avoid a reactive “this is cool, let’s try this” mode of thinking, and how such thinking can actually get in the way of more profound innovation. Admittedly, what Carroll writes is just a small piece to get one thinking, but I think it’s a good start. Such ideas get obscured by admonishments to librarians to start social networking accounts and play video games, and then be told that they’re still not doing enough to “keep up.” I can see how such proclamations can get rather wearing, and how they might even reduce one’s professional morale.

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