Six years on, Godin is perceptive: "Librarians that are arguing and lobbying for clever ebook lending solutions are completely missing the point. They are defending library as warehouse as opposed to fighting for the future, which is librarian as producer, concierge, connector, teacher and impresario." (Bold mine)
Indeed, this remains the dominant mode in many library discussions -- the value of paper, and how we get people back into the library building even when they have more efficient (which is not the same as more accurate) information delivery systems elsewhere. Some librarians still want users to operate as though the web had never been invented.
Some but not all. Indeed, I would argue that most librarians have long since come to terms with the digital age and are seeking to reinvent themselves. Since Godin's original post appeared, manylibraries have built maker-spaces and otherwise reinvigorated their physical plants.
But these are still outliers. The dominant conception of what a library is and ever will be, often within the profession and certainly without, is of a warehouse for books. Scott's lecture predicted that a fully digital culture is still two generations away; if so, it is not surprising that things still feel the same a mere six years later.
I italicized "and certainly without" above, because a huge challenge is that library patrons still like the warehouse model. Or at least enough of them do to cause trouble whenever a librarian attempts to assert that they are an information professional rather than a warehouse manager.
Mr. Trump appears to prefer the dictator/tyrant mode. Of course, the United States was founded in exact and complete opposition to such a style. The land of the free and home of the brave cannot exist if there's a boss man on top. Trump's very being in his current role is an affront to the Constitution he swore to uphold.
But since he is in this office, for some reason, here's a fourth grade primer for Mr. Trump: the legislature makes laws; the executive enforces laws; the judiciary interprets laws. The judiciary is independent, for a reason. Politics should not enter the courthouse. A rejection of an Unconstitutional executive order is exactly what should happen. Hopefully this will occur in the case of the proposed Muslim ban.
It can be disorienting to come face to face with authoritarianism, especially in a nation founded to resist tyranny. Our natural impulses to claim that things are normal, that everything is fine, come into play. Nobody wants to admit that our leaders are neofascists bent on destroying all that makes America great.
And yet, this is what we find in the early days of the Trump administration. Lying as state policy is one tool in the authoritarian's quiver, demonizing all followers of entire religions is another. The reason Steve Bannon refers to members of the media as the "opposition party" is because he wishes to advance his ideas using brute force since this is his only tool of persuasion. He can't win on the merits or with facts, so he deploys Trump as a useful idiot instead.
This state of affairs will never end. Trump will not suddenly become presidential. His administration aims to divide and harm, leaving the country at the end as a pale husk of its former self. The only appropriate response is resistance -- today, tomorrow, and as long as Trump remains in office.
Here are three strategies for defeating the hatred and fear and deceit that now emanate from the White House.
1. Remember that there is good in the world. This may seem counterintuitive to put at the top of the list, given the great moral stakes posed by the Trump administration. It feels like there is no time for such flim-flam. But giving in to that impulse, that everything is dark and sinister and deadly, allows Trump and his acolytes to control the narrative. Take some time, each and every day, to breathe deeply and remember just how beautiful the world is. If you can authentically draw upon faith traditions in this pursuit, do so. The point is to remember the goodness surrounding us, as a way to replenish your spiritual reserves. In addition to improving your mental health doing so will lead to more effective resistance.
2. Separate the wheat from the chaff. With a president who thinks in 140 character sound bites, there will always be lots of drivel always spewing forth. Only a subset of that will lead to action. Don't be baited. Look for the actual policy changes, and study those announcements to separate the bluster from the reality. Then decide where to focus...
3. Know you can't do everything. Divide and conquer. Pick one or two issues to focus on, and trust the passion of others to keep the pressure up regarding other outrages. Right now I am supporting a filibuster of any Supreme Court nominee Trump selects, not because of the merits of any given nominee but because this is a stolen seat. Meanwhile I am watching to see what comes of the voting procedures "commission" that Trump has proclaimed -- knowing that anything coming out of the White House on this front will be a sham, the stuff of third world countries and kangaroo courts. If that commission is empaneled I will watch it closely, and align with groups seeking to protect democracy for all. On those days I will really need to follow my own advice in # 1 above.