Rereading The Spice Market made it sound as if the benefit was all for Brendan. That the library was acting as a kind of guide to his personal epiphany. It definitely wasn’t all for his benefit. So what does the Library (staff and resources) get out of it?
There’s the tangible – we get suggestions for items that the library could/should own. Some were independent suggestions relating to curriculum. Some were from what I like to think of as the fairytale path of research – this book leads to this movie leads to this artist leads to this other movie leads to this director etc. We get a discussion on why those people or products.
Then there’s the intangible – we get insights into the way the industry works and how individuals in the industry work. (There may have also been a few rumours [REDACTED] but I couldn’t possibly comment on that.) I personally understand a little better how an artist could work. It’s certainly helped me to understand better how the students at the kura are being encouraged to work. From that it’s let me look at whether the library has changed along with the rest of the kura to accommodate that. I’m not sure it has, but talking with Brendan has let me see a potential way to change. He said that the library is a place to ‘stop’ for him. A small rest stop. I’m not quite sure how this meshes with my ideas that a library should be both “fucking awesome” and “fucking exciting” but we’ll see.
I guess the thing that feels most important to me about our conversations is that we are both working the thing we need to work while enabling the other to do the same. Which is a slightly wanky way of saying that I actually don’t know what the path is to get to the place I want the library to be but by talking to Brendan I’m getting closer to defining what that might be. And that is fucking exciting.