Monday, June 02, 2008

Darlene Fichter, CALL '08, & Just Being A Librarian

If I wasn't already aware how unfortunate I was to miss CALL this year, the point was driven home further by Connie Crosby's Slaw post & relay of the presentation slides from Darlene Fichter's Web 2.0 session. Darlene's presentation looks like it was outstanding!

And while it sounds like I might have been blushing at the mention of Legalpubs, Slaw & all in the same presentation, at the core of that would certainly have been my career-long pride of being a Librarian. Those of you that know me well, will also know how strongly I believe in showcasing our unique skills; or at the very least, a librarian's spin to how the web is evolving.

Then, to boost this feel-good moment a tad further, I see that Wendy Reynolds has launched her first Slaw article titled Why Librarianship?. Wendy's piece is an important one. Not only for showcasing the relevancy of our profession, but also to poke holes at a time when we have an opportunity to renew our role as information intermediaries - this time virtual style! Her addition to Slaw is both exciting, and a comfort.

My personal take is that the future for Librarians is set to skyrocket. Do we need an overhaul to our profession to make that happen? Probably not. But a little fine tuning wouldn't hurt either. And Wendy's point about required technology skills from our MLS graduates is well taken. Not because of a looming gap in traditional Library work (something I'm not totally sold on); but because the world is racing to integrate digital lifestyle (Librarians won't hold credibility if they lag on this), and, because it's an opportunity. Companies want Librarians, if they have the compatible skills to work with the other professionals on their team - who are also all becoming increasingly tech savvy.

But here's the thing. Believe it or not, as a profession we are trail blazers. Sure, the computer programming types are ahead of us, but after that... we're right up there! And we need our new graduates to pickup where current practitioners have left off. No lag. No gap. Just digital savvy information professionals, who might also have an MBA, JD or a graduate degree in another discipline, ready & willing to help as 'concierges of knowledge' to the other professionals, academics, or the guy on the street. [ok laugh a little, but sometimes this librarian needs a grandiose vision :) ]

I just hope we don't miss out on all this over a few coding skills. We need to stay relevant. It's that simple.

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Blogger Wendy Reynolds said...

Steve, you were greatly missed at CALL - as was reflected in the number of times your various blogs and projects were mentioned in sessions.

Thanks for the kind comments on my inaugural column. I look forward to poking a few more holes.

You're right, as well in your comment about how the profession is actually ahead of the curve in a lot of ways. To use Darlene's lingo, "canaries" such as you and Connie help us understand the potential of many of the emerging tools that Web 2.0 is providing. If we can provide our organisations with practical uses for these tools, then we not only gain in stature and credibility, we get to have all the fun!

Wendy Reynolds

9:10 AM  

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