Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Amen, Blyberg!

From Blyberg.net:

"There will come a day when libraries and networked technology are so closely associated that the very term “library” will be synonymous with “online” just as it is with “books”. As Jessamyn is quoted in the recent NYT article, librarianship is becoming “a techie profession.” For newcomers to the industry, that train has left the station–it is a techie profession. In the near future, new librarians will need to be technologists. At the very least, they’ll need to be able to participate in an information-centric community that requires all the disparate parts of the library to come together in a seamless fashion. The very best librarians will be able to cultivate those systems."

Ergo, we must be (or become) fluent with technology. A key aspect of that fluency the capacity to keep up with technological change. Like many newer librarians out there (so I've been working in the field since 1998, and even before if you count the news library I worked at before any of my degrees were complete), I am the least senior, the most liable to be laid off, the least well-paid of my colleagues, and I have to teach others the basics about today's technology. But someday, the managers of libraries across this country will have to wake up and start creating a meritocracy - one wherein performance of librarians will be measured by:

- a customer-centric, outreach-oriented service ethos
- a professional, enthusiastic & constructive attitude about all of one's colleagues (including the people you manage and including the folks who make it all happen - your IT Support people - even if they don't have an MLIS!)
- and of course, not least, technological fluency and a willingness to forever improve, change, experiment, and learn

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