Possibly my favorite quote from the latter is “Meet people where they are, not where you want them to be.” It reminded me so much of one of my favorite quotes:
Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, when you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.
~Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, 15th century
I am not religious, by the way, but I adore this anyway. It seems so insightful about human nature. It is so easy for us to be angry or annoyed that other people aren’t doing things the way they should be done, and lose sight of the fact that we fail to meet our own best aspirations all the time.
In the participatory library, the spirit is to respect and value the user’s way of doing things. When librarians get too attached to our format (which those darn users just Will Not Learn properly!) and not to our service, we lose sight of our primary mission–which is not to control or change people, but to help them get closer to their own best aspirations, as we are all always trying to do.
Kenney, B. (2014, January 27). The user is (still) not broken. Publishers Weekly. Retrieved from http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/libraries/article/60780-the-user-is-still-not-broken.html
Schneider, K.G. (2006, June 3). The user is not broken: a meme masquerading as a manifesto [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://freerangelibrarian.com/2006/06/03/the-user-is-not-broken-a-meme-masquerading-as-a-manifesto/