LJ article “what we need”


As promised, here’s a link to the article Meredith Farkas and I wrote about library journal “movers & shakers” and institutional support for their work and innovations. An excerpt:

What do organizations need to do to help innovation happen? We asked these Movers directly, and their answer was clear: continue to make time and resources available for professional development, thinking, and experimentation. They asked explicitly for listening, leadership, and collaboration from their institutions. They also wanted room and allowances for failure. “Some ideas die, and some don’t,” they said. “Identify resources for innovative test bed projects and let’s see ‘What if?’”

Most of this group longed for leadership, particularly in the area of risk. They saw encouraging “risk-taking” as part of their organization’s leadership role and called for an organizational culture that rewarded risk-takers “among all staff members.” “Model creativity and risk-taking as leaders,” said one, “reward risk-taking,” “provide admin support for risk-taking,” and “create a better sense of unity and vision,” said others. “Specifically address innovation and practices for producing innovation…make innovative work an organizational effort,” said another. “Show us how to handle failure.”

Other points of leadership came around clarity and communication. Movers & Shakers want to know what their organizations encourage and what they don’t. “Often it’s guesswork..,” said one. Several respondents wished for more trust, more conversation, and “just listening.”

And, finally, very simply, “make decisions faster.”

Thanks to the Movers who responded so candidly to our survey. Thanks to Meredith for working with me on it. Thanks to Marilyn Mason for encouraging us to write it. Thanks to Rebecca Miller for turning all of this into a single piece.

(Yay. An article that I co-wrote is on the cover of LJ.)


  1. Lori Reed, 2. October 2008, 19:34

    Congratulations Chrystie. Nicely written and informative.

  2. Chrystie, 2. October 2008, 19:41

    Thanks Lori, I appreciate it!

  3. Jaime Hammond, 6. October 2008, 14:29

    Hey Chrystie,

    I just read your article in LJ and came to check out your blog. I really, really love what you are doing and am very inspired by community building in general, so thank you for your work in tying it to the profession. Anyway, I also noticed that we were at SLC at the same time, but I was in the undergrad so we didn’t know each other. Still, cool!


  4. Chrystie, 6. October 2008, 16:13

    Hi Jaime, very nice to see another SLC grad in the library world! : ) thanks very much for your comments and I’ve got you on my blogroll now. I look forward to getting to know you & your work. Thansk again.

  5. MGMason, 7. October 2008, 16:43

    Just finished reading the article and loved it! Really nice job. Congrats to you and Meredith.

  6. Chrystie, 15. October 2008, 22:12

    Thanks Meredith. I appreciate so much your support and interest in my work and in changing the library profession. You’re part of the reason I wrote this article! : )