Play, Learn, Innovate How?

I’ve been thinking about yesterday’s webinar and want to share some of those deep (or not so deep) thoughts:

  • Liz Danforth‘s information resonated with me — I feel she was advocating the power of positive thinking.
    • Avoid fear, say “yes” and look for the ideas and opportunities that can lead to real innovation – something fantastically new and different.
    • I remember the story of the Post-it – a great idea coming from a failure.
    • Games DO teach resilience and optimism – the threat and fear of failure is lessened when you think, “it’s just a game.” So, as trainers and teachers, we need to consider how to use games to make learning more comfortable.
    • Librarians are in a unique position – we get to work with kids, help elders, swap stories with our favorite patrons, and joke with teens.  The library is a place to socialize, laugh, joke, and generally have fun!  Being a librarian is fun.
    • We ARE in the game business — how many public libraries have board games, computer games, videogames, even those activity cubes for toddlers?  At least, that was the experience cultivated at the library I was given the opportunity to lead – and I know my successor expanded that experience (the videogames came after I left).
    • By incorporating fun and games into lessons and learning (for example, computer training) – we can make the entire process less painful, less stressful and more effective.  As Liz says, you “don’t have to know you’re being taught in order to learn.”
    • Another point she made that resonated with me was this – to lead, just stay out of the way.  If you give your team the time, space and ability to explore their interests…they’ll come to you with amazing ideas and unique solutions.  This is why I love having a team of ‘early adopters’ who take pleasure in reading tech blogs and playing with the newest gadgets.  Reminds me of Simon Sinek’s Ted talk and the Law of Diffusion of Innovation
    • I’ve been pondering the Future of the library and the new roles for libraries and librarians a lot lately.  Most of the ideas thrown out are fun and playful – performances, public programs, creative production (sound studio at the library), family storytime and storytelling and positioning the library as a place for the self-employed to come and work in the company of others.
  • Erica Rosenfeld Halversonis obviously passionate about what she studies and she provided these IPTPs (Important Points to Ponder):
    • If you want to live an optimistic life, I’d say follow Tina Fey’s rules of improv from her book Bossypant’s.
      Agree and Say Yes | Yes, And | Make statements | There are no mistakes, only opportunities
    • Technology should Lag, not Lead.  Focus on the product (art project or web post or teen program) and learn the technology you need along the way (using Gimp for photo editing or how to embed video into a WP post or learning how to set up a library FB page).
      • Illustration of this concept: A library just called for some WordPress help – they wanted to add some .pdf documents to a post.  I asked if they’d also be interested in adding an illustration – they said yes.  I’m going to create a screencast/mini-lesson on how to insert a photo using the URL link rather than uploading a copy of the .jpg (
      • Will this lesson ‘stick’ better because they have a ‘just in time’ need for this skill?  I hope so!
      • I hope people use the 23 Things Kansas blog, too. It’s a GREAT SOURCE for ‘Just in Time” training.
    • Libraries can learn from museums – science/art/history museums are doing innovative things with technology, programming and digitization.  What can we learn from them?  Aren’t our missions similar?  What opportunities are there for collaboration and cooperation between libraries and museums?

2 thoughts on “Play, Learn, Innovate How?

  1. I am genuninely delighted to read that the Learn Play Innovate event struck a chord with you. There was SO much more I wanted to say, but you were spot-on to see the hand of Simon Sinek behind some of my remarks, particularly when it comes to leadership. I love his idea that fine leaders create an environment where ideas can emerge, and do not think they are the only ones allowed to have ideas at all.

    Best of luck to you and your future endeavors — may they sparkle with innovation, creativity, and fun!

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