A librarian in search of a ride

October 26, 2009 at 11:17 am | Posted in NAHSL Annual Meeting 2009 | Leave a comment

Last night, we had our Opening Reception at the Owls Head Transportation Museum. I think way too much about food, so I won’t go over the menu – which was fabulous, especially those little shrimp-filled crepes. The music, which sounded like traditional Celtic music, was just beautiful! Strolling through the museum, I noticed that a lot of the early American-built cars had the steering wheel on the right side instead of the left. There seemed to be no cut-off year for when all of the wheels appeared on the left. So I asked an older gentleman who was patroling the place looking helpful. He told me that before Henry Ford, there was no standard for steering wheel placement. Nor was there a standard for which side of the street to ride on. Ford created a standard, wheel on the left, and the nation followed. All American car manufacturers followed that standard, and because it was practical, drivers began driving on the right side of the road and that became a standard as well. One person with intelligence and guts set the standard for an entire nation. Who among us will be the next Henry Ford of the American medical library nation? Henry Ford did not wait to be guided by a parent organization (there was none). What if we did not have an MLA or a NAHSL? Would we progress individually at a faster rate? Would we create our own rides?

Margo

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