Magazine article Information Today

Keepers of the Game

Magazine article Information Today

Keepers of the Game

Article excerpt

You don't often see a speaker wielding a bat. Former MLB catcher/slugger Matt Nokes, who was speaking recently at SLA's Baseball Caucus, did just that. And when he swung the bat, you could hear it sweep the air apart. Describing himself as a "keeper of the game," he could have been talking about the keepers of libraries when he said, "The game is about overcoming your failures ... It's a rhythm and a timing thing." We are all challenged these days to try, fail, learn, and--with a little luck--succeed in the end.

Finding success may not be as elusive as it sounds, at least according to self-deprecating ALA keynoter Steve Levitt, co-author of SuperFreakonomics, who admittedly overcame many odds in his quest to succeed as an economist. "I'm not very good about coming up with ideas," he says. Perhaps to overcompensate, he sets aside 10 hours a week for ideation. "I spend 500 hours a year to come up with just one or two good ideas," he says. Hmm, come to think of it, that's not a bad record.

Talk about new ideas. Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago, told delegates attending the ALA Opening Session in his hometown that the city is experimenting with what is hoped will serve as a model for others. The Chicago pilot project involves opening a "community library" in a public school. …

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