Don’t let the title of libraries and the culture of busy – a reflection on the hospital blogging meme on ratcatcher’s blog, omg tuna is kewl, fool you: this is not a post solely for hospital librarians. It applies regardless of specific environment, and I strongly suspect it applies as well if we are neither librarians nor working in libraries.
Take a minute to read the original article too. Don’t worry, I know you’re busy, but it’s only two pages.
So, what have I to add to this article and the excellent commentary already posted?
On one hand, a plea: guilty. I, too, over-allocate my time. I try to be aware of this and make periodic corrections, for my own sanity as well for the well-being of my colleagues, friends, and family.
On the other hand, it’s not just me (nor just us). The values in librarianship have been quantitative. We’ve justified our value to our institutions, our colleagues, and ourselves by enumerating how many of this we have and how many of that we’ve done: how many volumes we have acquired, how many questions we have answered, how many classes we have taught. If we keep the numbers going up, we are increasing our value, right? In such a value system, cranking out the numbers is rewarded and so, therefore, is busyness. And behavior we reward, we see more often. No wonder we’re all so busy – it’s just so rewarding.