Miss Letting-Go-Getting

Post #3: Play
October 28, 2007, 9:54 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,


“An activity which proceeds within certain limits of time and space, in a visible order, according to rules freely accepted, and outside the sphere of necessity or material utility. The play-mood is one of rapture and enthusiasm, and is sacred or festive in accordance with the occasion. A feeling of exaltation and tension accompanies the action.”

-Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture

It has been a week since my LIS 753 class was blessed with a visit from a trio of vibrant and brilliant librarians from Delft in the Netherlands. Their library, the DOK is a stunning public space combining art, music, books, and technology. In form and in function, their innovative library completely embraces the concept of play–a space devoted to imagination, creativity and celebration.

Since their visit, a stop on their cross-country tour of the USA dubbed the Shanachie tour, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about “play” and what it means to us as a society, and as a profession.

Though most public libraries have abandoned their quiet mausoleum like spaces, we can still do more to encourage play, collaboration, teamwork and pure unbridled joy. Offering gaming in the library to patrons of all ages, is just one way to encourage everyone to lighten up a bit, have some fun, and enter this rapturous realm of imagination.

Too many pressures–work, school, money, day-to-day living often take priority over play time, and much to our detriment. Restoring and maintaining a sense of play for all should be a new role for librarians in an ever increasing fast-paced, info bloated world.

Of course, we should all experience vigorous, active, play–but I think reading is play as well! Check out these books that explore play in all of its glory!

The Art of Play: An Adult’s Guide to Reclaiming Imagination and Spontaneity by Adam Blatner, M.D & Allee Blatner

Deep Play by Diane Ackerman


Thank you Erik, Jaap and Geert!


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