WebJunction staffers have a bit of a tradition. Every time we go out to dinner with more than three or four of us – usually it involves the colleagues we work with over great distances – we have what we call a “dinner question”. It all started when I asked a table full of people – there were maybe eight or nine of us – if you had all the money and all the talent, what would you do for your job? It’s my standard question that I like to ask everyone I know, as well as ponder myself (most often I think I’d like to be a jazz singer, like the lead vocalist in pink martini).
Over the years we’ve discussed everything from “what animal would you be?” to “who was your first love?” and then back to “what was your favorite meal?” and then “who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met?” or “what was your most terrifying travel experience?” Every time we’ve done this, inside our team and alongside our friends and colleagues in library land, we’ve learned a lot about each other as well as instigated some of the most interesting conversations I’ve ever had. These questions, as simple as they may have been, have made us stronger as a team, as a community at WebJunction, and as a community of library professionals. Now I have a hunch that’s an important part of the community building work that we do, and I’ve been thinking about how to get it into the online environment.
If you have an idea about how we can translate these f2f conversations into an online space, I’d love to hear. (Or maybe we’re already doing something like that with St. Jerry’s Virtual Scriptorium? Update 8/28/08: changed link to collapsed page view, where you can login and post to this thread. St. Jerry’s thread is at the top of the list. Thanks Roy!)
And, next time you’re out to dinner with colleagues in library land, try it, and let us know what happens!