Last night I went to Monkeybook 2 at Monkey Town to hear Brad Paley give a fascinating talk about TextArc and a few other projects. I’m still sorting out all of the ideas Brad offered us, but the major concept he seemed to want us to grasp was this: if you want someone to absorb information, offer it to them in a form that lets them find the patterns in it. He repeatedly mentioned that humans delight in finding patterns and pulling together threads of information, which, of course, sent me down a path thinking about the ways library catalogs, article databases and other digital tools don’t delight researchers. Which in turn sent me down one of my favorite paths, which is thinking about how these tools could delight researchers. So many of the aha! moments I see students and other faculty reaching when I’m working with them are moments of “Aha! I finally understand how this crazy database thing works!” rather than moments of engagement with the actual information they’re finding. Shouldn’t the database or catalog be disappearing in that moment? Or, even better, complementing the information in a way that makes it easier to understand? These seem like such simple questions, but I’m frustrated by how few resource providers in the library world even begin to address them.