ALA Annual 2016

Learning to Like Mistakes at #alaac16

goofyEveryone makes mistakes, but how many of us embrace them as learning agents? This was one of the main points I took away from the #alaac16 ALSC President’s Program: Libraries – The Space to Be. Marty Sklar, of Disney fame, spoke about how he created “The Goof” to reward those that made mistakes. Sounds crazy at first, right? But what I realized is this – by embracing, and learning from, my mistakes and my staff’s mistakes – the library becomes a stronger, better place. I might have to create my own reward program when I get back to library land, thanks to Sklar and his ability to dream big and recognize the strength of both success and failure.


  1. Julie

    My father-in-law belongs to a yacht club that awards the “Bent Propeller” award, he won it the time he ran a whole race on one engine. You bet he never forgot to make sure both engines engaged after that.

    I think the Goof needs to be paired with the Risk Taker and the Innovator Awards. I always try to cheer on staff who are willing to try something new but too often people only seem to remember the bits that didn’t work and that makes them reluctant to try again.

    1. Lisa

      Julie, a good point! Risk takers and Innovators are what youth services are built on! Thank you for sharing.

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