Thought for the day, from Thich Nhat Hanh’s recent work, The World We Have:
Technology has to be supported by brotherhood, sisterhood, understanding and compassion.
In other words, it’s not necessarily the tools you have, but how you use them. When you staff virtual reference, are you merely searching for the fastest answer, or are you giving the best possible answer under the circumstances? How do you handle a question that simply cannot be answered in 5 minutes or less (there are many that can’t)? If your library has a blog, does it simply have a blog for the sake of having a blog, or does your blog have wit, humor, grace and soul? If you’re on Facebook, does your Facebook group/page just sit there, or do you update it frequently with content geared toward your fans’ interests?
Your mileage may vary, I suppose. I would argue, though, that even digital natives are human beings who respond to brotherhood, sisterhood, understanding and compassion. Technologies should be our tools, not our gods. Does the shiny tool obstruct our view of the humanity of the person at the other end of it, or do we look beyond that when we practice?
I put it to you, constant reader. What is the relationship between technology and heart?