It's the type of writing that makes one feel simultaneously depressed at how far one has fallen short and yet feel inspired to go out and "dent the universe".
The white paper is chock full of ideas but one critique he made about our profession that has been slowly resonating in me is that we are a "copy-and-paste profession".
"A common strategy for innovation is the “copy-and paste” method-- see what others are doing and then follow suit. Alter the name or modify the template, but largely our ideas come from other libraries."
He then goes on to give examples on how libraries began to jump on band-wagons such as UX, Learning Commons without truly understanding what it was meant to do.
This gives me pause.
I wonder is one of the greatest strengths in our profession - the fact that we share freely what we do, turning into potentially at least a weakness?
Unlike say in the scientific field where often there is fear of being "scooped" or where the Apples of the world wage patent wars, we librarians are generally very open and sharing.
Librarians share their works in progress, some even from the time the idea popped in their minds in a tweet, to blogging on projects in progress. Most will generously share what they know if you ask, some even provide their work in creative commons licenses.
This is sometimes done to such an extent, that by the time the final paper is written or presented , the project can be well known to librarians who are hyper-connected.
On a personal level, when I look back at some of my most popular blog posts, I see a general pattern that the most popular ones tends to be "survey posts" or "summary posts" , long rambling blog posts comparing what different libraries have done in the same area. This is the same tradition as long "survey" type papers in library literature.
- What are mobile friendly library sites offering? A survey.
- What are mobile friendly library databases offering? A survey
- How are libraries designing their search boxes? (I)
- Opensearch vs custom toolbar vs smart keyword vs bookmarklet (I)
- Branding library discovery services - what are libraries doing?
- Why you may need a "real" one-search box. More thoughts on a one-search box
Addendum : I can't stress enough learning from others is critical, I have benefited tons from the experiences of other pioneer libraries in different areas, allowing me to anticipate issues when it was our turn to implement the solution. I just worry about going too far in the other direction.