natural librarian

Did you know that being immersed in nature makes us nicer? I didn’t know that. But it is hardly surprising. Spending a few hours on the Appalachian Trail, or at a local park does wonders for lifting my mood.

New research concludes that people who have a strong connection to the natural world are nicer toward their fellow human beings. So, you see, that advice I gave last month about leaving your library for a stroll outdoors as an antidote to boredom, was good, after all.

Actually, you don’t have to step outside. Merely having a plant, or a lovely natural mural at your workspace decreases stress and promotes healing.

And here we only thought that plants in the library made the space a bit more cheery. And they do reduce the level of ozone in the home/office. But other than those two reasons, who knew?

This appears to be the first research to examine the impact of the natural world on people’s values and aspirations, and its findings have intriguing implications for architects, designers and urban planners.

Check out the article. Wonder what, if any, effect it will have on library buildings?

Jackson Library, where I spent the bulk of my time in library school, had fabulous mammoth potted plants throughout the library. Each had a sign with her/his name planted in its soil. I shrugged it off as a way of having a bit of fun in the library. It was very pre-Zappos. Remember Core Value #3,  “Create weirdness and a little fun“?

When I last visited Jackson Library, two or three years ago, the library was remodeled, spruced up. It looked slick and urbane. No more named potted plants. Perhaps they were hidden in the recesses and not out in the open. I didn’t spot them during my brief walk through.

A few months ago I threw out the peace lily in my office. I never remembered to water it. And a colleague gave me one of those lovely blown-glass watering orbs. I used it. But, the soil got stuck in the tube and never let the water out.  Perhaps I’ll bring a plant into my new office. Yup, I’m moving in a few weeks.

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