I don't know which one tickles me more. Is it that people seem to be talking more and saying less? Or is it that they say things they surely don't mean?
By "talking more and saying less," I allude to jargon. I wish I could tell you that librarians are immune. We're not.
Take our most basic service: "circulation." In our view, the books go out and come back. It's like blood through the heart. Hence, our materials (not just books anymore) "circulate."
I don't know if organizations really need mission statements. Usually, businesses and public institutions come up with something that would make Dilbert flinch -- dense, polysyllabic constructs that slip through the memory like sand.
On the other hand, it may be the process itself that's important. Organizations -- like people -- do have purposes, values, and intents. Crafting a mission statement for an organization gives everybody a chance to think and to talk together.
Recently I realized that I just didn't have much time for reading. A librarian who doesn't read is like a guitarist without strings, a cobbler with no shoes, a balloonist bereft of hot air. So I decided to do something about it.
On Thursday, March 2000, my Associate Director, Holly Deni, received an e-mail. That e-mail read, in part: