I read a recent blog post by Seth Godin in which he discussed resilience. Godin’s point is that the world is a crazy place and we can either “build something for today” or “build something that lasts.” He goes on to list four approaches to being resilient, with one being “invest in a network.”
When your neighbor can lend you what you need, it’s far easier to survive losing what you’ve got. Cities and villages and tribes with thriving, interconnected neighborhoods find that the way they mesh resources and people, combined with mutual generosity, makes them more able to withstand unexpected change. And yes, the word is ‘invest’, because the connection economy thrives on generosity, not need.
Substitute the words “neighbor/neighborhoods” with “library/libraries.” Wow. Can you imagine if all of us dedicated ourselves to this idea? Library leaders need to be brokering this investment in interconnectedness and generosity if we have any hope to build something that lasts. Our budgets are shrinking and the demand for services is increasing, so it is vitally important that we pull together and honor what we have in our institutions. Leaders that learn to manage that balance will continue to thrive.
Think about the ways in which you make connections at work and in your community. I invite you to share them in the comments section.