Busting Out of Your Cubicle
A 4:30 session on the first full day of the ALA conference is probably not the ideal time for a program. Admittedly, I was exhausted by the time that I plopped down into a seat to attend my last session for the day, the ACRL University Libraries Section’s “Busting Out of the Cubicle: Your Creative Self at Work”; however, this wasn’t a typical conference session.
Coming out of their success hosting an Innovation Boot Camp, M. J. D’Elia and Robert Bergart of the University of Guelph, Ontario, discussed the different types of mindsets that are characteristic of innovators. And, as was fitting for the topic, these characteristics were reinforced through a series of guided activities directly involving the hallmarks innovative cultures. My favorite of these exercises was a LEGO Serious Play activity in which every attendee was asked to build a small structure and then explain our process.
Over and over throughout their talk, D’Elia and Bergart emphasized the fact that when given the right tools and environment, everyone has the potential to be innovative. Innovation and creativity is not simply an innate gift present in some and not others, but, as they referenced, is a deliberate practice. Armed with some practical applications of how these principles can be adapted to the library and a few fun “mind stretching” activities, I am excited to go back home to test them out in my own environment.