I saw this video here and wanted to add it to my site so I could find it quickly. It’s a great video about how ideas become innovation. How they can take many years to fully develop and become something new and useful. It also hints that the internet is changing the way we connect, share ideas and come up with new innovations.

Something else that caught my attention was when he mentioned the places where innovations were incubated in the past. The coffee houses of the Enlightenment and the Parisian Salons of Modernism were places where people discussed new ideas and came up with many innovative ideas. I’d like to think that a library could be that kind of place. A place for people to meet, discuss and create. We’re not there yet, at least in my library. Many of our spaces don’t encourage group collaboration and many of us are stuck in the quiet library mindset.

This mindset is a bit of a sticking point. It’s something many library staff understand but have a difficult time explaining to those who don’t. Many people still think of the library as a quiet place of reading and reflection. It is becoming a place of discussion and collaboration. Discussion is loud. People have to talk to discuss and create new ideas. That’s a bit unsettling for some of us. But it’s the way things are moving. It’s the way (I think) we need to move.

Some of our new libraries have group study rooms and that’s a great start. We even have designated quiet study rooms. That’s better. I like the idea of a library as a louder place with quiet areas. Maybe as we build new libraries and renovate older ones we will design spaces where discussion and collaboration are encouraged rather than shh’ed.

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