Friday, August 11, 2006

A comment about “The Culture of No”

Many of my colleagues were at NEKLS Tech Day, and they were probably all snickering each time Michael Stephens talked about how important it is to battle the so-called culture of no, because lately, I’ve totally been on the “no” train at work. I've had "no" plastered on my laptop, my office door, etc...Because I've had to launch a campaign to limit our new projects until we entirely rebuild out Web world from the ground up. There is a time to have priorities, and this is it.

So when we talk about the culture of “no”—people who are always saying no to service and ideas that would be great for patrons—we’re not talking about people like you. Yes, you.

If you’re reading this right now, let me tell you: you’re probably not a member of the culture of “no”—you probably have so many good ideas your head’s about to explode. You read all the blogs, your finger’s on the pulse of what’s happening in the library world as well as the Web 2.0 world as a whole. Your problem probably isn’t saying “no,” it’s saying “yes” too often.

And as we all know, when you say yes to everything, you can’t implement everything you want to do. And then, how well are you really serving your patrons? So, make priorities. It’s not about saying no to new projects. It’s saying yes to the projects you’ve committed to and know will best benefit your patrons. So, make decisions and set priorities about what is most important to your patrons. And say, “no” to other projects until you’re ready to move on.

And don’t you dare feel guilty about it.


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