Today I’m looking at a site called The Daily Post from WordPress, and discovered that every day they publish a new “daily prompt” for bloggers to use when they’re having trouble blogging that day. The daily prompt pushes them to write about that prompt. I studied a list of these prompts and picked Avant Garde to write about today: “From your musical tastes to your political views, were you ever way ahead of the rest of us, adopting the new and the emerging before everyone else?”
Me? No, never, I don’t think so. In fact, I’m often a late-adopter. I confess, I’ve read exactly one full Overdrive eBook from my library. BUT, let me say, as libraries, I think we DO have to try to be early adopters. Libraries are a great place for our users to try out new technologies, before they buy them for themselves. At one time this was things like digital cameras and MP3 players—I confess, I’m not sure what it is today. Maybe 3D printers?
And from my experience, this may mean that sometimes you’ll offer “emerging” things that don’t catch on. And that’s OK. But it’s hard for us to accept that, I think, and to explain it to our funding bodies. How can we justify offering something that doesn’t become popular? I think we can by explaining that we want to offer choices and options for the public, and we want to keep up with current trends, and remain relevant. Sometimes the only way to know if something will be successful is to try it. One way to do this is to call a new initiative a “pilot project,” which indicates that it may or may not become permanent.
So, I’m curious. How avant garde are you? How avant garde is your library?