REFLECTIONS

Standing in front of Alice’s mirror, looking at the reflections of the past

The White Rabbit put on his spectacles. “Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?” he asked.

 “Begin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”

Beginning at the beginning. It is clear that there were certain reoccurring motifs in my writing. One comes courtesy of Clay Shirky, how technology is creating the mass a amateurization of professions. “Less a profession than an activity”Shirky claims,  and I think you could make a case this is already happening to librarianship.  I would argue this isn’t good or bad; we’re seeing this in other fields too as tools of collaboration and production that once were in the hands of the few enter the hands of the many. I chased this theme from the streets of San Francisco (where it was a Taco Truck) to the streets of New York (where it was a sophisticated People’s Library). If this is not just an isolated blip, than the implications will be tremendous. The question as I posed some weeks ago, is what role will librarians play in this change?

The topic of Crowdsourcing (which Becky covered brilliantly) was one way I started to explore, and I returned many times to the idea of “Library as space”. I wish I would have had more time to explore “Gamification” because I think it overlaps in interesting ways to much of what we’ve covered this semester. I also wish I could have figured out how to write about libraries as co-creators, whether it be as publishers or organizers of our users creative works. So there was a lot I didn’t accomplish, but hope to return to in the future.

This blog became my playground. It forced me to put down in words the vague ideas that were bubbling in my brain. I too clearly became enchanted with the “everything is beta” idea and readers were subjected to a barrage of experiments in layout and design. I sincerely apologize for the eye strain and can only offer the excuse, “I had no idea what I was doing”.  I tried to do more than just fulfill the assignment requirements, I tried to talk about the things I was interested in, to wander off topic at times for the challenge of pursuing ideas wherever they might lead. Looking back, I think there was a fair amount of repetition in the posts, at least of topic material. I think it was my way of trying to come at ideas from different angles, twisting and turning them in an attempt to reach an understanding.  I did fall down the Rabbit Hole several times, but that was always the intention. I said in class once that sometimes failure was more interesting than success, so consider this blog an attempt to prove my point.

I think the overarching theme of this blog has been Community. I tried to look at creation, development, and collaboration of communities from the lens of “Library”. Perhaps as a result of looking at what community means to others, I decided I wanted to join in the creation of community myself. So Looking Glass Librarian will continue, although it’s mission will change. At least in the near future, its goal will be to rescue forgotten and overlooked children’s literature. (Advertising: Essays on Kalle Blomkvist and Ellen Raskin’s lesser know books will appear soon!)Perhaps that is ultimately what I learned doing this blog, the skills necessary to continue. It’s not so much what I accomplished this semester, it’s what I’m going to accomplish in the future. However that is the future; at least for the time being the Looking Glass has come to the End. And since we have began at the beginning and have come to the end, it is now time to Stop.. . .

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