Every now and then people complain to me about the problems of growth. Sometimes they're talking about the county. Sometimes, they're talking about the library. Here's what I think. There are only two problems in life: the problems of growth, and the problems of decline. Pick one.
But that isn't to say that the problems of growth aren't real. I've been giving a lot of thought lately to a straightforward question asked by one of our new managers. "How," he said, "do I get something done here?" He meant, what's the process through which a decision is made?
My son, Perry, is 9 years old. Not long ago, we went through a period when we played a lot of darts.
We'd make up various scoring systems, based more or less on our growing expertise. You won if you got the greatest number of darts to actually stick. Then you won if you got the highest number of darts within the broad inner circle. Finally, you won based solely on the number of bullseyes.
It was fun, and Perry got really good. I can't help but think that it's smart training for business.
From Friday, June 21, through Monday, June 23, I was in Toronto for the combined meeting of the American Library Association (ALA) and the Canadian Library Association.
I don't usually go to the annual conferences -- I think I've attended just 3 times in 13 years. But I'd never been to Toronto before. Besides, this time I had the offer of an outside agency to pay my way as a presenter.
People are still talking about just what the recent Supreme Court decision regarding Internet filtering really means. It seems to boil down to this: if public libraries accept federal "e-rate" reimbursements for Internet access, Congress has the right to require those libraries to use software "filters" on all Internet workstations.