The Concept of Radical Trust

One of the things I find most exciting about the library environment today is the idea of Radical Trust (RT). I love the idea of using  technology to empower our patrons to be a part of their own library experience. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, I’m going to turn to Collin Douma, who writes about RT as a business concept and defines it as: A notion that influence, rather than control, is more effective at guiding culture, commerce and communities. He also lists the 6 Principles of Radical TrustYou must radically trust that consumers:

  1. are best equipped to determine their own needs, and left to their own devices are best equipped to get those needs met.
  2. would rather be communicated with than spoken to.
  3. require freedom of expression, but often require guidelines to create expressions within.
  4. will self-regulate communities to the level guidelines suggest and that the collective group they comprise will accept.
  5. will disconnect with a brand that silences them and will align with brands that give them a voice.
  6. (This one is the hardest) consumers are people and people are inherently good.

If you substitute the word ‘patron’ for ‘consumer’ it is easy to see how this concept applies to libraries.  John Blyberg wrote directly about libraries and radical trust in This blog entry.

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