creating stakes to fight apathy

Using social media as a way of creating a space for people to have a stake in their culture is hugely important. That’s how you fight apathy and how you a human is alive. The notion of people asking Why Wasn’t I Consulted? more in the internet age compared to the TV age is huge.

From Confronting the Challenges of Partcipatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century (PDF link):

“Politics, as constructed by the news, becomes a spectator sport, something we watch but do not do” (Jenkins 2008: 10).

That is a terrible thing. If there’s going to be a revolution it can’t be televised because everyone needs to participate in it.

This is an issue that affects librarians even beyond the actual serving of our patrons, but in keeping our jobs. A bit on library student apathy from Magpie Librarian:

We’ve been thinking of who our next advocates might be. I thought I was pretty damn brilliant to think of trying to tap into the MLS student population. I figured that a) they’re already passionate about libraries and b) they have a vested interested in wanting library jobs to open up. I went to speak at a NY library school that I will leave unnamed. They well-publicized my event during curriculum space (a time when there would be no classes). I spoke in the student lounge to a group of students glued to their textbooks. I talked about library closures, layoffs, the future of libraries. I didn’t get much of a response, other than an uncomfortable wall of silence. One of my fellow Urban Librarianites called out, “Do any of you care about advocacy? You know, the apathy is what’s going to kill us.” A girl looks up from her textbook, “I have a lot of reading to do.” I silently handed out some advocacy tips and got the hell out of dodge.

R. David Lankes’ states in his Atlas of New Librarianship:

The MISSION of LIBRARIANS is to IMPROVE SOCIETY through FACILITATING KNOWLEDGE CREATION in their COMMUNITIES.

I love the concept of librarians being agents of change, and how it requires more than simply lurking. There has to be creation going on, not just talking, but creating a space for people to participate in creation is one of the most important things a library can do.

2 thoughts on “creating stakes to fight apathy

  1. I agree completely! The problem is so huge though. I was once in a library management class where all of us took the Myers-Briggs test, and it turned out that 80% of the class were introverts. Advocacy takes extroverts, but maybe introverts could be more comfortable with advocacy that takes place in the online environment.

    The problem with social media advocacy then would be that many older librarians are not comfortable with this form of communication.

    We might be doomed 😦

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