Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

The Library Innovation Toolkit: Ideas, Strategies, and Programs

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

The Library Innovation Toolkit: Ideas, Strategies, and Programs

Article excerpt

The Library Innovation Toolkit: Ideas, Strategies, and Programs. Edited by Anthony Molaro and Leah L. White. Chicago, ALA: 2015. Paper $55.00 (ISBN-13: 978-0-83891274-4).

The Library Innovation Toolkit: Strategies, and Programs itself takes an innovative approach to the selection and exhibition of the content it presents. This deft representation of what it means to think broadly about the role and aims of the contemporary library is spread across six parts and sixteen individual chapters, with a subtle microcosm/macrocosm theme ultimately defining the book's structure. Indeed, in the introductory chapter, editors Molaro and White point out that "[I]nnovation is not a process as much as it is an organizational (or departmental) culture, mind-set, or worldview" (xv).

The mindset of innovation is explored early on in a chapter concerning the Zen Buddhist "Beginner's Mind." Approaching innovation with the mind open and even empty is encouraged, so as to prepare oneself for inspiration that transcends the straightforward thinking of our daily routine. This chapter centers on the individual's mental state with respect to library work, but it speaks also to the fate of organizations. The Library Innovation Toolkit excels in this regard; it approaches innovation from both the individual level and the organizational level to effectively communicate the value of forward thinking at all levels.

Yet the innovative ideas that result from an open mind cannot take root without support at the organizational level. …

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