Hide ‘n Seek

Camouflage. Both prey and predator species use it in nature for their own purposes.

Prey species use it to hide or blend in. Whether they match with the foliage or the rest of the herd, it’s a survival technique. You can’t get picked off if you don’t get picked out. Never stand out, that’s the name of the game.

Predator species use it to hunt. They meld in shadows and landscapes, either by coloration or clever disguise. The deception is revealed only when it is too late for the quarry. Lure them in and then strike when they least expect it.

To a librarian, the library is our natural environment. Amid the desks, stacks, computers, and other benign furniture, we work as a greater part of the information exchange. We dress the part, looking (more or less) like we work and belong at the library. To our patrons, we are part of the institutional landscape.

As you think of yourself as part of the overall library scene, consider about what your library camouflage means: are you just fitting in to go without notice, or are you biding your time for the right opportunity to impress patrons with knowledge of materials and resources while demonstrating how it fills their needs?

Are you that of a prey or a predator?

(Author’s note: The alternative title to this post is “An ode to Seth Godin” since I think it closely resembles his style of postings.)

6 thoughts on “Hide ‘n Seek

  1. I have to be honest – my natural state is prey, and I have to push myself to become predator because that’s the kind of Information Professional I want myself to be.

    It was a lot easier when I worked in Customer Services, because I was on the front-line every day so it was easier to occupy the predatory mindset… Now I don’t get to interact with real live patrons too often, I’m less confident in my ability to successfully ‘kill’ them or whatever the anology demands. 🙂

  2. I try not to think of myself as a different species from our customers or engaged in a food-chain type relationship with them, one way or the other. Our relationship with funders, on the other hand…

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