I’ve been reading over Steven Bell’s article, “The Blended Librarian.” What he mentions there isn’t particularly unique to us—all libraries are facing these challenges right now. Actually, much of librarianship is facing this challenge right now, as many of our old structures and ways of doing things are disintegrating—I characterized it for my class this week as “disintegrating into unity”, which is not as oxymoronic as it sounds. While many of our roles, data structures, and services are coming unglued, they are necessarily doing so with an eye towards bringing more people and services together in the social web environment.
Alan Danskin, who is the Head of Data Quality and Authority Control at the British Library, wrote a very readable article that sums up the problem (for catalogers in particular, but it affects all librarians) in a very concise way. (He bases it around the Beatles tune, “Tomorrow Never Knows”, and he presented this at IFLA). Here is the link to that article:
Edward Corrado, TCNJ’s Systems Librarian, also did a great presentation at LITA on bringing “the library” to the wider community. His summaries are excellent, and pleasantly devoid of jargon. Here is the link to that presentation: