Creativity: A Toolkit for Academic Libraries—eEditions PDF e-book

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author

Use creativity to create change in your library! 

Creativity is the ability to produce a product or idea that is both new and appropriate in a given context, and is essential for innovation, change, and employee satisfaction. Creativity is inherently human, a transferable skill that can be developed and that can improve an individual’s personal and professional life regardless of their level of artistic ability, education, or experience.

Academic libraries are often the first to face budget reductions, hiring freezes, and staff reductions when higher education encounters financial stress, and creativity can seem like either a luxury or an attempt to spur libraries to support the needs of their institution without adequate staff and funding. However, creativity is vital at all levels of the academic library if that library expects to adapt to the current challenges facing higher education. Change is necessary for adaptation, and creativity is essential for change. 

Creativity: A Toolkit for Academic Libraries can help you create, encourage, and participate in an environment that is conducive to creativity, helping make change a more natural and organic part of the library’s culture. The first part, Understanding Creativity, looks at the psychology of creativity and its use in design thinking, innovation, research, and physical and social environments. The second, Creativity in Context, examines perspectives of library staff and creativity in academic library literature, and how to enhance personal creativity and foster it in your library.

Greater creativity in librarianship—and creating a culture that values trial and error along with successes—needs to be encouraged by those in library leadership, in the library profession more broadly, and in institutions of higher education. Creativity: A Toolkit for Academic Libraries can be the first step in developing your own creativity and advocating for it across your institution.


Part 1. Understanding Creativity
Chapter 1. The Psychology of Creativity
    The Genius and the Muse
    Creativity in Modern Psychology
    The Creative Person
    The Creative Process
    The Creative Press
    The Creative Product
    Measuring Creativity
    Common Creativity Myths
    Creativity Exists Only in the Fine Arts
    All Creative People Share Specific Creative Traits
    Creativity Is a Linear Process
    Creativity Is Inherent and Cannot Be Taught
    Creativity Is Associated with Mental Illness
    Creativity Is Correlated with Intelligence
    Circumstances Do Not Impact Creativity
    Experience Does Not Impact Creativity
    Creativity Cannot Be Measured
    Current Trends and Future Research

Chapter 2. Creativity, Innovation, Design Thinking, and More
    Creative Problem Solving
    Design Thinking
    The Role of Creativity

Chapter 3. Physical and Social Environments
    Impact of the Physical Environment on Creativity
    Impact of the Social Environment on Creativity
    The Physical Library

Chapter 4. The Creativity of Research
    Research Models
    Creativity Models
    Creativity and Research
    Creativity, Research, and Libraries

Part 2. Creativity in Context
Chapter 5. Perspectives of Academic Library Staff
    Creativity in the Workplace
    Defining Creativity
    Types of Creative Work
    Sources of Creative Inspiration
    Expectations of Creativity
    Preparation and Development of Creativity
    Barriers to Creativity
    What Supports Creativity
    Role of Creativity in Professional Work

Chapter 6. Creativity in Academic Library Literature
    Outreach and Marketing
    Other Public Services
    Collection Development
    Technical Services
    Other Areas

Chapter 7. Enhancing Personal Creativity
    Developing Personal Creativity
    Be Intentional
    Develop Basic Skills
    Continue to Learn within the Profession
    Practice Curiosity and Exploration
    Develop Tolerance for Risk-Taking
    Develop Self-Management Skills
    Practice Divergent Thinking
    Find Problems, Solve Problems

Chapter 8. Fostering Creativity
    Value of Creativity
    Role of Leaders in Developing Creativity
    Leadership Theories
    Fostering Creativity in an Organization
    Ensure Psychological Safety
    Personalize Physical Environment
    Model Intentional Communication
    Encourage Professional Development
    Allow Appropriate Autonomy
    Set Creativity Goals
    Have Realistic Deadlines
    Consider Job Fit


About the Author

Nancy Falciani-White

Nancy Falciani-White has worked in liberal arts college libraries for almost twenty years, beginning as a student employee in the interlibrary loan office of her college library. She was hired as interlibrary loan coordinator and promoted to reference and instruction librarian and then department head before moving to Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia to become Library Director. She received her MSLIS degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her EdD in Instructional Technology from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois. Her research interests include creativity, the intersection of research and technological innovation, and academic library leadership. She has been published in the Journal of Academic Librarianship and the Journal of Documentation as well as several edited volumes.