Or How to Get Stuck on Lifelong Learning.

Duct tape always gets my attention (must be the craftsperson in me). So a blog post featuring a giant roll of duct tape and titled Sticking it to Instruction was successful in diverting my attention from my over-crowded schedule.

This is a librarian’s review of the book Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. The book is about successful marketing, but reviewer Ellie Collier found enough library- and learning-related stickiness to write over 2500 words about it. (Maybe I won’t have to read the book now.)

The book identifies 6 major qualities of sticky ideas:

  • Simplicity
  • Unexpectedness
  • Concreteness
  • Credibility
  • Emotions
  • Stories

The one quality that really resonated with me and my thinking about internalized lifelong learning for library staff is emotions. The emotional component in successful learning is huge. I’m a natural learner, and I suspect most of my fellow trainers are –that’s what attracted us to this arena. I have a large appetite for new information. I get excited and I’m sure my heart rate increases when I’m learning something new. But not everyone shares this impulse. The big challenge for trainers is to stimulate that level of emotional engagement in their learners.

[The authors] discuss Maslow’s Pyramid and comment that most self interest appeals invoke the physical, security, and esteem layers. We need to come out of Maslow’s basement.

We often try to communicate the “what’s in it for me?” to learners in order to motivate them. This quotation makes me realize that maybe I have always set the WIIFM? bar too low. Now I really do want to read the book to gather ideas about appealing to the transcendant levels of Maslow’s hierarchy.