What prompted me to do that?..

When reading Greenwalt’s article about prompts I was immediately drawn to when I first started going to community college. I can remember being right out of high school and having no idea what I want to do. I was not prepared for college and did not know what to expect. So I thought of things I liked such as music, art, and photography and though that was how you chose what your major was going to be. I really loved Raiders of the Lost Ark, I still do, and though being an archeologist would be really cool! I still think being an archeologist would be really cool, but that’s going to have to wait, because it’s kind of pulling me off topic for this discussion.

My point I want to eventually get at is that prompts are how I recall those first view classes I took at community college. They showed me a different way of thinking about things and what I wanted to do. There were a little bit like Eno and Schmidt’s deck of cards, that got me to look in different direction and explore new avenues that I did not consider. They showed me I didn’t want to be a photographer, at east not professionally, and music was a passion but not a career. Anthropology was the most interesting card I pulled from the deck back then, and would later come back to me after a long absence for academics.

I do have an example of a creative way a music-recording teacher got us to think about how recording studios work. He assigned for us to create are own recording studios to show us the amount of work and equipment go into making the music we hear. He created a prompt that helped his students understand music in a different way and it was pretty exciting. I wish I could say I passed that class, but I ended up dropping out of college by the end of that semester due to some life stuff that I’m sure we are all familiar with. I did seeing music production in a new light. I learned it was hard work and not magic. It gave me a sense that looking at things differently can create new ideas.

What librarians can do to create prompts is to make things interactive like that music teacher did. As a volunteer for the San Francisco Public Library I taught a class on how to use the new library catalog that the library was switching over to. It started out as a formal how-to type instructional class but soon turn into a show-and-tell model similar to what Greenwalt discussed in regards to the iPad class. When that happened the student started to enjoy it more because they all had very specific questions about their own accounts, and it became more personable.

We can find prompts in the most interesting places, movies interests, and even college courses. I like the idea of having something that helps you go in a different direction, it give us a chance see find things we might never have found otherwise.

Greenwalt, T. R. (2014). It’s all around you: Creating a culture of innovation. Public Libraries Online. Retrieved from: http://publiclibrariesonline.org/2014/02/its-all-around-you-creating-a-culture-of-innovation/

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