Are Your Mental Models of a Library Holding You Back?

“Mental models are deeply held internal images of how the world works, images that limit us to familiar ways of thinking and acting.”
  —Peter M. Senge, The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization

While you need to know the ins and outs of the library and community you work in, sometimes such familiarity can lead to assumptions and mental models about the purpose, the people, and the materials of your library. When we have a mental model of something, we can get stuck in a way of thinking, making decisions that continue to reinforce the model—prioritizing tasks and budgeting to drive actions that support them. This webinar shows you how to bust some of your mental models and start the shift to innovative, out-of-the-box thinking that managing a modern library requires.

Instructor Cheryl Gould has also provided two handouts you can use to foster discussion and idea generation with your staff. A list of “Dangerous Questions” will help you gauge your library staff’s comfort level with some radical considerations, and a list of common mental models regarding public libraries will provide you with a starting point for discussion. Links to these handouts, as well as to Cheryl’s slides (in PDF format), are below under "Additional Resources."

Originally presented August 8, 2012.

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Additional Resources: