From Eureka to RSquared….

When I had the privilege of participating in the first Eureka Leadership Institute 5 years ago in San Diego, I had the notion that the experience would help me to uncover answers about the direction in which both I and California Libraries should be headed. Instead, what Eureka helped me to realize (and the RSquared Conference unequivocally reinforced) is that my focus shouldn’t be on finding answers (Hello, what? I’m a librarian, that’s what I do.) but rather on making sure I’m asking the right questions.

RSquared speaker, Nina Simon, executive director of the Art & History Museum in Santa Cruz, asked the participants of my Customer Curiosity session a great question: “What one piece of information would help you to better ignite your customers’ curiosity?” To me, this was an entirely new way of framing a very old discussion about how we can make our libraries more relevant community spaces. It also reminded me of something Joan Frye Williams, who was a Eureka mentor my year, said: “We [Libraries] are the occasion for an idea.”

The RSquared Conference was all about disrupting conventions and generating out of the box ideas. Personally, I’ve always subscribed to the theory that sometimes the best way to think outside the box is to peek into other people’s boxes. So it was invaluable to not only collect ideas from experts in compatible fields, but to be able to talk to movers and shakers from libraries all around the country (and Canada and Sweden!).

Creativity, after all, is about connection. Connecting with people and connecting ideas. I created a 90-second video to show you some of the ideas that best resonated with me from my Eureka and RSquared Conference experiences. Check it out here: