Darlene Fichter, CALL '08, & Just Being A Librarian
And while it sounds like I might have been blushing at the mention of Legalpubs, Slaw & Legalvoices.com 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.