Thanks for Playing

Geezaweezer by Geraint Rowland

So, I didn’t get the requisite 25 responses that would have got me firing up the pancake griddle…BUT I did get some good ones. I feel like I have some new tactics for getting myself and others into the creative zone. Thank you so much @michaelecasey, @mstephens7, @jakeogh, and @mollificence for playing…and as a token of my appreciation I’d love to send you a small gift which will ship directly from Just direct message me with your home or work address (here’s a link on how to do it).

The responses reminded me that being ‘creative’ boils down to getting out of the way of yourself, or removing your own self-imposed limitations- if only for a few moments, to get the ball rolling.  Think about it: creativity is second nature to young kids, who exist in a world where the barriers between play and reality are entirely permeable. They don’t always know what to expect, so they’re free to experiment. Perhaps it wouldn’t hurt for us adults to play a bit more at work, and encourage our patrons to do the same. I don’t mean play in the general sense of frolicking around the office (though that’s always fun); what I’m suggesting is that it may be worth considering this definition of play:

“the capacity to experiment with your surroundings as a form of problem-solving.”

That’s how the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism defines it in their video, Create Circulate Connect Collaborate. There, they highlight play as one of several new media literacy skills, or life skills essential to our success in a new media environment.  My takeaway is that play is nothing new; that our most far-reaching innovations involve liberal doses of creativity, but that the breakneck pace of technological change has morphed the socio-technical environment (particularly for librarians and other information professionals) to the extent that we need to employ more creativity than ever, just to keep up.  To make something happen these days, you’ve simply got to be willing to play.

Geezaweezer by Geraint Rowland

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