As I said in my previous post, I went to a school in Kansas City called Loretto for 5th-8th grades. Loretto was a private school that promoted self-paced education, cooperative learning, broad educational study and free thinking. It wasn’t quite “anything goes,” but it was much looser and more open than almost any other school I’ve gone to, not too dissimilar from the Montessori method. I really enjoyed my time at Loretto, and I was very upset when it closed during the summer of 1984, but it didn’t really hit me until this past weekend, reuniting with old friends and teachers from the school, just how much Loretto helped shape who I am and what I do today.

The Library Society of the World, begun on a whim and a dare, is completely a Loretto thing. It’s nonhierarchical, loosely-structured, open, free, collaborative, sarcastic and often lazy about getting things done…just like my classmates and I were at Loretto. Library Camp Kansas and my fondness for unconferences in general, that’s also Loretto-inspired. My dislike of formal presentations, standing at a podium and lecturing to an audience, and my preference for free-flowing conversations and the equal exhange of ideas also comes from my time at Loretto.

If I can continue to bring the Loretto philosophy and style into my professional and personal life, I’ll consider myself very successful indeed. The world needs fewer squares and more circles.


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