Passion Quilt Meme: Systems Thinking

I was tagged by Marianne Lenox to participate in the Passion Quilt Meme, so here’s my contribution:

systems thinking
Original by josef.stuefer

In case you don’t know this about me, I’m a huge big-picture person. On the “real” Myers Briggs Type Indicator, I score off the charts on the “Intuitive” scale. Give me the big picture, then let me fit all the details into place. This can, unfortunately, make me more of a theory person than a practical one at times. Though I happen to like this quality. :)

I choose systems thinking for this project because I think we can often improve our situation by looking at the big picture. We can make our library service better if we examine the entire world of research possibilities (online and off) that our community uses. We can ensure we’re relevant if we understand what is going on in the world of user generated content, technology use, contemporary media, business, etc. We can forecast trends in the field if we understand our past and the bigger picture of the role libraries play in society. We can also make sure that our library is doing the best it can do for the community by understanding the local county, school, university, and/or business that the library serves.

Taking a step back, and looking at all parts of the system, we put ourselves in a better position to take action. Time spent doing that gives us a better chance of taking actions that are positive and have lasting effects. This is why systems thinking is a quality that I am passionate about, and why I’m adding it to this quilt.

I figure if I’ve been tagged, maybe everyone has! But in case you haven’t, consider yourself tagged!

The rules are simple:

1. Think about what you are passionate about teaching your students.
2. Post a picture from a source like FlickrCC or Flickr Creative Commons or make/take your own that captures what YOU are most passionate about for kids to learn about…and give your picture a short title.
3. Title your blog post “Meme: Passion Quilt” and link back to this blog entry.

8 thoughts on “Passion Quilt Meme: Systems Thinking

  1. okay, i really like the content of this post and i don’t want to detract from your message, but i just want to say that i was already planning on using futura medium for my passion quilt piece if i got around to it.

    re: the content. you’re right. libraries don’t exist in a vacuum. i sometimes wish that more librarians would realize that we need to evolve with the rest of the information world.

  2. I really like this, too. And it can also be applied on a personal level, as well: Are my actions as a library employee working towards the library system as a whole? Am I a good team member?

  3. Well, Aaron, I guess I need to tag you so that we can see how you were planning on using futura (if you get around to it)! I like font-minded folks. :)

    Thanks for extending the point, Marianne. I am there with you. I think systems thinking can be useful for both organizations and individuals.

  4. Hi Lauren,
    I’m not far from you–Greensboro, in fact. I’m really intrigued by your post. I have always thought of library people as the ultimate in detail orientation, but your post makes sense. I particularly like thinking about the library’s place in the community at large, which leads to my question for you, which is: how big does the picture get? Where is the point at which you have to stop expanding the circle ?

    I can’t figure out if I am a big picture or little picture person–I seem to vacillate wildly, depending on what is going on. Although in either case, I seem to head for the extreme side.

    Nice to “meet” you!

  5. Sarah,

    Good to meet another local interested in this stuff! Libraries are evolving… while there are detail folks, there are other folks, too. It’s an interesting time to be in the profession! As for me, the picture is very large! I like to think in terms of the entire information ecosystem. Can someone in California access our information online? Can I find a copy of a rare book, that we don’t own, for a patron using Google Books? Where is the first place anyone goes for information… can we make a difference in that location. Of course, not everyone thinks in those terms, nor should they. But I do think that examining a system larger than the library building makes a lot of sense, particularly if you’re trying to reach people that don’t currently use library services, and also in light of the likelihood users are spending most of their information seeking time online.

    Good to meet you! I’m adding your blog to my reader!

Comments are closed.