David Lankes’ presentation last month at the National Congress of the Italian Library Association explored both the failures and victories of librarians. It is not only our failures, but our victories that threaten the industry. Our field has become fragmented and competitive — two destructive forces that suffocate our present and future.
Lankes shows the importance of librarianship on a global scale while keeping it personal and funny. It ultimately comes down to knowledge distribution, communication, and learning. We can take charge of our future by partnering with tech companies and participating in social media to create a new image for ourselves and our communities. Lankes is a bold voice speaking on behalf of new librarianship and the need for social change and action. It is up to us!
A New Librarianship for a New Age from R. David Lankes on Vimeo.
In Youngok Choi and Edie Rasmussen’s What Is Needed to Educate Future Digital Librarians; A Study of Current Practice and Staffing Patterns in Academic and Research Libraries they studied and surveyed 48 librarians from 39 institutions. Here are their results:
- While there are emerging units and positions within digital libraries, the working environment of digital libraries is collaborative in areas that range from computing systems to traditional library functions.
- Professionals working in those areas tend to be young and are relatively recent graduates. Because many libraries will eventually be transformed into digital libraries, and require professionals educated in this area, digital library jobs will be very attractive to the next generation of the library profession.
- Major tasks in which digital librarians are involved include management, leadership, and website-related tasks. Managerial tasks emphasized planning and oversight of digital library projects, while providing leadership and expertise in digital library areas contained elements of collaboration with other members of the library staff and with users. Trend analysis, such as monitoring the practice and standards of current digital libraries, is critical in these jobs.
I definitely think that library schools need to promote technology in their programs as most libraries are digital. The problem is that there is often a one size fits all approach to the classes. There are students young and old who have different skill sets and backgrounds that may or may not have prepared for the technology classes. Everyone knows which professors are the most challenging. What student is going to want to take a particularly challenging class when they don’t have the background for it. What library schools need are different levels of technology classes that students can build upon.
What are your thoughts? What do you think is needed to educate future digital librarians?
Presented by Drexel’s iSchool, this free webinar will cover topics like social media, but also the tools that librarians need in order to adapt in their changing roles.
What: Dr. Michael D. McDonald
When: October 20, 5:00pm
Details from the Drexel site:
In the context of increasing real-time information abundance, librarians as a profession face new opportunities to contribute to a more resilient public health by applying long-held skills and values to social media content and intelligent social networks. Dr. Michael D. McDonald will engage in a discourse as to how the strategically oriented librarian can invest a new dimension of power and responsibility in their professional role by contributing to the management of this new information sharing environment in the prevention and management of large-scale social crises (e.g., disease outbreaks, terrorism, natural disasters, economic and social discontinuities) at the global, national, regional, and local levels.
Read Dr. Michael McDonald’s recent article on SLA’s FutureReady365 blog.