“En Afrique, quand un vieillard meurt, c’est une bibliothèque qui brûle.” (“In Africa, when an old man dies, it’s a library burning.”) Amadou Hampâté Bâ

Hello, Doug Lynch here with Verbal Defense and Influence. The rather profound statement above was made in a speech about 55 years ago. Somehow, I had not heard it until recently.

When I did, it stopped me in my tracks. I thought about how it applied to my many mentors over the years. They truly are libraries of knowledge and experience. Some of whom, sadly, have already passed.

It also occurred to me that if we think of ourselves and other trainers as libraries, it will make us more effective. In this blog entry let me share my thoughts on learning from other libraries. In the next article, I will share thoughts on becoming a better library yourself.

First, remember that our most critical job, once we learn something, is to put that knowledge to use and to share it with others.

Every walking talking library has a limited amount of time it will be open to the public. If you are able to access a library during its finite time, it would be a horrific waste to not share the knowledge you gain with others.

Second, don’t waste your library’s time. That doesn’t mean a mentor won’t be patient with you while you learn but, if you are there just to “hang out” you are doing your library and its patrons a disservice.

Third, if you are learning at a new library, practice due diligence. Just because information is in a library doesn’t assume it is true, accurate or timely. Always verify new material.

Please send me your comments and questions and I will be happy to answer them.


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