The Computer and the Librarian

 Over a hundred years ago, the computer was not a machine, but a man who computed. He did what a computer does today, but a lot slower and without the fanciness of Steve Jobs. 

The librarian became a job because of an enormous need to organize the heaping piles of literature spread throughout academia, filling the walls of your school.

The computer became a machine that now fits into your pocket. And with the growing presence of students reading on iPads and Kindles (or the Nook app), what will the librarian do?

The point here is not to let go of librarians. They are brilliant organizers and incredibly highly-skilled team members. You need them. But they may not need to be spending their days anymore rifling through book orders or organizing the shelves. 

Today's newsletter addresses the need for all school faculty to think outside their job description.

Back in the halls of college, we trained to become a certain role. Lead the school, teach a content, or be the librarian. That won't work anymore.

Now, we all need to think like a start-up. That means a hodgepodge of skill-sets. That means intrinsic motivation to innovate. That means trust.

 Hodgepodge of Skill Sets

We all come to our careers with a set of skills based on our particular schooling combined with the events unfolded in our lives. These moments define us and make us unique. They also allow us to innovate. 

You each have the ability to add something extraordinary to the school that only you can bring. Dig deep and reflect on who you are that makes you different. Use this uniqueness to your advantage.

Intrinsic Motivation

We've all heard the cliche, "One man's garbage is another man's treasure". The same principle applies to duties, tasks, or a job description. 

What one team member thinks of as boring and a waste of her talent, another may find it to be the perfect addition to his day. 

So, make this clear to your staff. Let them know that you want them to be in the position where they feel empowered and truly utilized. For instance, is there a 7th grade English teacher who borders on quitting, and would feel far happier teaching 12th grade? 

Yes, it is impossible to make everyone happy. Appeasing to the will of all makes it impossible to run a school system, but you certainly can make it clear that you want everyone to feel needed.

“Creativity is as important as literacy”  - Ken Robinson (Tweet this!) 


Letting everyone be unique requires you to trust them. That's why Jim Collins said you have to have all the right team members on the bus. Then, you can just make sure you are in the right direction and drive without having to constantly check the mirror.