For many of us, creativity often feels like a gift that others have. Yet, all our lives depend on creative thinking and doing as we grow, learn, and work. Although creative, innovative thinking has always moved our culture forward, today this type of thinking is seen as especially critical. Throughout all learning, both vocational, and professional, we are, indeed, on the lookout—and in demand of—a broad range of individuals who have a creative spark and are geared to look for possibilities around every corner. We want these individuals to fluidly generate new ideas, take risks, visualize outcomes, design approaches, synthesize, and contribute new understandings, solutions, and products.
The quest to understand and tap into the nature of creativity is, of course, centuries old. As school librarians feel the pulse to teach “21st-century skills,” especially in the area of inquiry and innovation, they may find themselves asking a few tried and true questions: How do I feel connected to creativity and innovation myself? What do I understand about the nature and process of creative thinking? How could the school library take an active role teaching for innovation?