30 April 2004
I had a nice day today at our local ARLD (Academic and Research Libraries Division of the Minnesota Library Assocation) Day conference at the Arboretum in Chanhassen. Most interesting to me was a presentation on the “Googlization of Library Values” by librarians from St. Cloud State, St. Catherine’s, and Carleton College. I was expecting the usual library lament about how we have to resist the dominion of google which is teaching our patrons that search is simple and everything is on the net. Surprise! Every one of the presenters spent their time sharing positive lessons we need to learn from Google. Robin Ewing asked us to learn from three core values demonstrated by Google: vision, usability, and whimsy. We all know Google thinks big and keeps stuff simple, but I had not really valued their sense of whimsy. Upon some reflection I find it true: Google takes the time to make things a little fun, from their name and logo to things like allowing their interface to be translated into Klingon and Elmer Fudd. Can we make library services anything other than deadly dull?