I thought the concept in this article was fantastic! The medical research community had struggled with HIV/AIDS for decades. Progress was made but was slowed by the physical complexity of the virus. Someone had the unique idea to partner with game developers to work on it. By combining talent from around the world, using tools that were never designed for medical research and an attitude that anything is possible; they made an historic breakthrough!
While library work isn’t quite the same as medical research; those three components can be applied to our work.
- Colleagues all over the world for collaboration.
- Access to technology not designed for libraries.
- Attitude that we can solve anything.
One aspect of professional associations which I value highly is the networking opportunities. I am or have been a member of the Kansas Library Association, the Mountain Plains Library Association, the American Library Association, LITA, LLAMA, and ASCLA.
Each provides me a network of trusted friends I can reach out to for help. I maintain library friends from around the world on Facebook. What a rich resource!!
I have the privilege to work with many excellent colleagues in my library. One of them is David Lee King. For several years, David and I have looked at technology in libraries as well as outside the library world. We are always searching for something that will make that difference in libraries; even if it was designed for something completely different, for example: water desalinization or micro chip production. What might it bring to libraries that we never considered before? We haven’t found much yet, but that doesn’t keep us from looking. One day…!
Of course, the most important part is the attitude of endless possibilities. It is so easy to say, “No. if we can’t solve it–there is just no solution.” Have we truly explored the possibilities?
This is the most important lesson I take from this breakthrough in research:
We can solve ANYTHING!
We just have to find the person(s) who can do it! That can be hard. But as they say in the movie “A League of Their Own,” “The hard is what makes it worth doing.”
I believe Librarians are natural leaders for this concept. We have the world at our fingertips, with enormous networks that truly span everything in the known universe and people who are expert in every field. We can solve anything!
We just have to believe we can!