This book was introduced to me at an opportune time in life. After graduating from Loyola University in 2009 and facing the abysmal job market, I looked toward library science to expand my options. I turned 23 last September. Just as my mind was tossing around the idea of growing-up and “settling” in a professional mold, Tribes replanted the heretical seed in my heart.
Tribes blog-style sections allow the reader to either section skim, or a breeze through an affective read. As I read Tribes, I kept getting the urge to send tid-bits of wisdom to family, friends, and colleagues; and I recommended the book even more frequently. Seth Godin wrote this book knowing that it would pass through many hands. This book is for everyone, but it will strike a special chord with Millennials.
But, there is something even more serendipitously wonderful about Tribes. It blends so well with the Library’s need to reach all potential patrons and market their services. In order for the Library as a Social Force to thrive, Library leaders must practice equity and innovation in participatory service. “In unstable times, growth comes from leaders who create change and engage their organizations, instead of from managers who push their employees to do more for less” (41). Future library leaders will view change as an opportunity to renew their patrons trust and loyalty. The first step is realizing participatory service with the aid of Library 2.0 technology and freedom from fear, but who can tell what the future holds. Be adaptable.
Godin encourages readers with stories about societal shifting movements facilitated by technological evolution. “This is how Skype spread around the world” (23). The increased participation in the Skype community has opened a communication channel that combats “the tyranny of the phone companies” (23). In return, Skype works to improve services for their users. Anyone with Internet access, a web-browsing device, and a little technical literacy can participate in the web community – facilitating instant communication, access to information, and idea sharing. The Internet propels social movements so that it no longer takes 30 years to develop and implement a progressive idea! Today, Library leaders have many options for creating channels of communication between members of the library community, the local community, and the global community.
In Tribes, Seth Godin speaks to enliven extraordinary individuals, sometimes called leaders, to match their compassionate mission with a flexible strategy to motivate and empower people and challenge the status quo. Library culture has already captivated many people. We have a Tribe (certainly more than 1,000) and a selfless cause! We just need faith. Library leaders will experience opposition, but they must overcome instinctual fear. It takes mettle, passion, and patience to fight for what your tribe knows is right. Faith is required to challenge the status quo and build culture and community committed to a shared vision for a brighter future.
I really enjoy Seth Godin’s interview outside the TED2009 (TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design). Watch! It really gives you a feel for Tribes! He speaks like he writes – reasonable and inspirational. Also, Godin explains why he doesn’t use Twitter or other social software.
Click to watch the interview!
Finally, while you’re enjoying your new-found appreciation for connected, change-hungry tribes, you can enjoy Seth’s Blog!