Well, now that it’s summer, I’ve lost my assistant meaning I’ve been spending a lot of time doing the boring ‘gate-keeping’ style work that I hate (manually adding entries to the catalog, putting those little bar code stickers on books). As a result, there has not been a lot of fun at the ol’ library lately.
However, there has been some nice meta-fun analysis. So I thought I’d throw out a couple of articles that I constantly refer back to when I’m working on a project or thinking on career stuff. They both are computer oriented, but I think they summarize how work and life should be approached.
The first is the Hacker Attitude. The two points the author, an open-source evangelist, makes that I like are. .
- The world is full of fascinating problems waiting to be solved. This is a nice remainder to always approach every situation fresh, to enjoy the act of investigating, planning, and creating something new and better.
- Boredom and Drudgery are Evil. Maybe this one appeals to me more now that I am doing a lot of boring work. But it’s a good chance to reevaluate processes and to make them more efficient so, at the very least, people who come after me won’t be bored and grumpy.
Which leads to the first virtue of a programmer .
- Laziness. Boredom and laziness go together and both are bad. Furthermore, it helps to remember that the virtue of laziness frees up more time to look creatively at problems, to make a place better.
- Hubris. Making something so well the first time that no one can bad talk it later. As someone who has had to clean up others messes and poor planning, this one appeals to me greatly.
Than, of course, there’s the of . . .
How do these relate to libraries?
Well, in short, these are just good elements of project planning and human resources. A friend of mine that does consulting work for international non-profits, has noted that it is important to give all employees — young, old, new, experience — opportunities to lead and create. We sit an enormous amount of potential when we do not allow all employees to try something new and instead relegate them to boring mindless circulation tasks (not that those aren’t important). Still, why waste any potential idea.