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Need for Reflective Space

April 13, 2012

Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope you’ve had a lovely week and have a relaxing weekend planned. I’m looking forward to having a relaxed, quiet weekend. I’ve been incredibly busy the last few months (who isn’t?) and I wanted to take this time to talk about why I’m looking forward to stepping back in another few months to reflect and figure out what is next. So let’s have a moment to reflect together on the need for reflective space in our heads and lives.

I love this photograph:

"Pixies backstreet" by sofiatown via Beautiful Portals Tumblr

"Pixies backstreet" by sofiatown via Beautiful Portals Tumblr

This photograph, to me, is beautiful and also invites the viewer to image what is just down the passageway. It also reminds me of peaceful, quiet moments that give me room to breathe and think and be.

So what does this have to do with libraries and archives? Well, I just sat through another webinar on innovation and change, which was interesting, but had the focus on collaboration and spaces with lots of people and things going on to help with thinking of new innovations for libraries. All of which, I hasten to add, is good and important, but not enough for innovation either in the libraries or within ourselves. We need time alone, time to think, and time to reflect (and meditate) if we are to have those sparks of creativity and find the path forward.

I’m reminded of this post by Gizmodo Why you never hear about world altering inventions created by committee. I’m hoping to read the book the post is based on, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, next week when I get it through LINK+ at my library.

If we don’t have space to reflect, by ourselves, we can spend a lot of time spinning our proverbial wheels and not making deeper connections and figuring out the roots of problems, innovations, or ideas that can help us grow and change. So I’m challenging myself to take more time to reflect, to build in the space to meditate so that I can actually see what needs to be done next, instead of only putting out fires when they happen, whether at work or in my life outside of work. Remember, as other articles and research have shown us, if you’re working over 40 hours a week, you’re probably not working at your peak. I have to remind myself of this daily and I’ll let you know what I find out in the coming months.

If you want one thing to read (and like to meditate on typography) over the weekend, check out Lifehacker’s A Non-Designer’s Guide to Typefaces and Layout. I’m biased, I know, but I think learning about design and working with layout a way to actively reflect and meditate.

I’ll be back soon with more on libraries, archives, and tools for you to use in your work and in your life. Allons-y!

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