Geek the Library

Go Lean Commentary

First, understand the definition of “Geek”.

geek as a VERB

  1. To love, to enjoy, to celebrate, to have an intense passion for.
  2. To express interest in.
  3. To possess a large amount of knowledge in.
  4. To promote.

The following source material describes how impactful libraries are to modern living:

Whatever you geek, serious or fun, the public library supports you.

The ‘Geek the Library’ project is a community public awareness campaign aimed at spreading the word about the vital and growing role of public libraries, and to raise awareness about the critical funding issues many U.S. libraries face.

The goal of the campaign is to inspire a conversation about incredible public libraries and their urgent need for increased support. It is hoped that people will tell what they “geek”, how the public library supports them and their community, and that everyone benefits from the services their local library provides.

The campaign is sponsored by OCLC, a nonprofit library cooperative (see below) that has provided services to help libraries deliver more to their users for four decades. The campaign, supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is partnered with Chicago-based marketing communications agency Leo Burnett USA; this is a professional, technocratic endeavor.

Public libraries inspire and empower. Everyone is welcome. Almost anything can be explored. And they play an important role for individuals and for communities. Consider this sample:

  • Job Center – As the economy continues to struggle, many libraries are transforming into job centers. Online job application assistance is only the tip of the iceberg. Some libraries are developing specific job searching areas with helpful resources such as classes and online portals to help people sort through the clutter and get back to work faster.
  • Access For All – Historically, ‘access for all’ is what drove the establishment of most public libraries. This mission still rings true today. For many Americans, their local library is an important source for free public access to computers and the Internet in their communities—and for some, it is their only access.
  • A Personal Touch – Last year, librarians helped millions of people find out more about what they geek, discover new interests and search for jobs online. Librarians are passionate about their communities; they are passionate about what you geek and they are passionate about you.
  • The Possibilities Place – In addition to traditional library resources, such as books and children’s programs, many libraries offer innovative geeking opportunities for teens and adults. Live online homework help, genealogy research or financial planning classes.
  • Community Center – The public library is often the heart of the community—bringing people together in a way no other community organization can. You can get your geek on. You can hold a formal meeting. And you can gather with colleagues, friends and neighbors.
  • Return on Investment – More jobs, higher property values, better schools, increased wages … the public library plays a role in all of it. Many studies support the idea that dollars spent on libraries provide solid economic returns to the community.

OCLC Project: Geek The Library – Online Source (Retrieved 11/26/2014)

Video: Geek the Library –


Source – OCLC = Online Computer Library Center (

This nonprofit library cooperative provides research, programs and services that help libraries share the world’s knowledge and the work of organizing it.

In 1967, a small group of library leaders founded the OCLC as the Ohio College Library Center with an ambitious public purpose to:

  • improve access to the information held in libraries around the globe, and;
  • find ways to reduce costs for libraries through collaboration.

This vision launched an effort to share the world’s information via library collaboration—first in Ohio, then across North America and today in 113 countries. The first step was to combine technology with library cooperation through shared, computerized cataloging. Today, the OCLC cooperative helps libraries define their place in the digital world with new cloud-based services that amplify and extend library collections and resources.

OCLC members represent a cohesive hub of library data, activities and interests. This helps increase the collective influence of libraries, making it possible to develop partnerships and programs that would be impossible for most libraries to achieve alone.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean posits that libraries must play a role in the roadmap to elevate Caribbean society, to help bridge the Digital Divide. The book is published by the SFE Foundation, a community development foundation chartered to bring change back to the Caribbean. The book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation for the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). The prime directives of the CU are declared as following 3 statements:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines.

CU Blog - Geek the Library - Photo 1Libraries fit in the vision of a technocratic federal government. There is more focus on virtual structures and technology. Multi-functional libraries fit the vision to allow stakeholders access to CU government data/information technology services, and serve as a portal for e-Learning solutions.

The roadmap identifies, qualifies and proposes the establishment of community libraries throughout the region (Page 187). The book posits that these libraries can be a portal to the new world of Internet Communication Technologies (Page 197); a means to bridge the Digital Divide (Page 31) and a delivery outlet for many e-Government services (Page 168).

The foregoing campaign, ‘Geek the Library‘, is motivated to raise additional funding for public libraries in the US. There is also the need for funding for Caribbean library endeavors. The Go Lean roadmap leads first with an optimization of the region’s economic engines. The book then details how to pay for these changes (Page 101), then how to maintain a consistent well-funded governing engine (Page 172), including public libraries.

Previously, Go Lean blogs commented on other developments related to Caribbean library endeavors:

Antigua Completes Construction of New National Library
The World as 100 People – Showing the Gaps – Need for Cyber Caribbean – Gates Foundation
Is Print Dead? No, but dying! Digital Media is the Future

Now is the time for all Caribbean stakeholders, all Geeks, to lean-in to this regional solution for Caribbean empowerment. Considering the foregoing definition of ‘geek’, this regional effort could be dubbed: ‘Geek the Caribbean‘. The end result, a better homeland; a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Share this post:
, , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *