Learning from “Caine’s Arcade”

Aside from being one of the most heartwarmingly adorable videos I’ve seen in a long time, “Caine’s Arcade” can teach us librarians a thing or two. I admit that I didn’t specifically think about libraries the first time I saw this video, but the more I think about it, the more important and relevant it seems to me. We talk about librarians as knowledge facilitators, and that is exactly what film maker Nirvan Mullick does in for Caine Monroy. This is what librarians should be doing. We don’t necessarily need to be the independent filmmaker who can launch a child’s dream into the public eye, but we should know both of those parties and we should be able to connect them. Perhaps part of what makes this short film so inspiring, is the “good samaritan” aspect, or the chance encounter that changes a boy’s life. But while this makes for good drama (and a good film), connections and opportunities like this one shouldn’t always be left to fate. This is where libraries come in to help connect people with similar interests and goals, who can help each other to move in the direction of their dreams. This is “knowledge facilitation” in action. So, what did I, as an emerging librarian, take away from the video?

1. Never give up on your great idea.

2. Innovation is not necessarily tied to technology; great ideas can be amazingly low tech.

3. Social media is a powerful tool, and can provide astounding results if utilized correctly.

4. Find ways to bring the community together, whether around a specific person or a larger goal/ideal.

5. You can’t always measure success in sheer numbers. Sometimes the experience of one individual is enough.

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