≡ Menu
David Lee King

Change, Adaptation, and that 33 Reasons Why We’re Important Article



Lots of bloggers have been posting about the article 33 Reasons Why Libraries and Librarians are Still Extremely Important. And that’s cool – it’s a great article, and I’d say that all librarians should digest it.

However, I’d also say that this article didn’t need to be written. Well, I’d say that if there weren’t some librarians doubting our continued existence, anyway (the article points to one such librarian). In my talks, I’ve had librarians, and I mean 20+ year career librarians, ask me if we’ll still exist in 10 years time. They also tend to be the librarians who have a hard time understanding the difference between an RSS feed and an email.

I don’t know – I guess I don’t get it. When I decided to become “a librarian,” the web was brand new (I graduated in 1994). Looking back, that was a time of tremendous change for libraries. And change hasn’t stopped yet – if anything, I’d say the rate of change has accelerated!

And so, in a way, I quickly learned that I needed to embrace change – in my job (IT/Webish management job), change is a given. And I can either react to change around me (hint – bad idea) or I can try to anticipate it, understand it, and figure out how it can work for me and my library (hint – good idea).

Dang – I’m rambling a little. Sorry! So what’s my point? I think my point is this – that article didn’t need to be written… if librarians were anticipating change, jumping off the cliff instead of running the other way … marketing – no, evangelizing – their reason for existence in the new digital society … going where the customers are … and adapting to the the concept of “change is a given.”

Comments?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://librarybytes.com/ Helene

    Totally agree! I also felt the list fell short, especially from the customer/stakeholder point of view.

  • http://librarybytes.com Helene

    Totally agree! I also felt the list fell short, especially from the customer/stakeholder point of view.

  • http://librarianofthepossible.blogspot.com/ Matthew Nogrady

    David, I agree that the article is quite redundant. But with regard to evangelising, I have noticed a cheerleading attitude to librarianship within the profession that often ‘protests to much’, sounding anxious and even despairing. As a student I got interested in the literature about social capital as a means of raising public libraries’ political profile. However I began to wonder what lay beneath the exhortations of academics that we need to vigorously tell the world how fabulous and essential we are. Sure, everyone needs a bit of in-house feelgood stuff about the importance of the work they do. But with regard to the public and politicians, I think many library managers just need to adapt faster and more urgently to the changing information fabric, and weave themselves into Web2.0 consciousness as a node where real- and cyber-community meet. Then people will realise that libraries and librarians are indispensible, and we won’t have to remind people about it!

    So I think there’s an important distinction between just promoting ‘Libraries’ as such, and actively promoting these crucial new infomation services.

  • http://librarianofthepossible.blogspot.com/ Matthew Nogrady

    David, I agree that the article is quite redundant. But with regard to evangelising, I have noticed a cheerleading attitude to librarianship within the profession that often ‘protests to much’, sounding anxious and even despairing. As a student I got interested in the literature about social capital as a means of raising public libraries’ political profile. However I began to wonder what lay beneath the exhortations of academics that we need to vigorously tell the world how fabulous and essential we are. Sure, everyone needs a bit of in-house feelgood stuff about the importance of the work they do. But with regard to the public and politicians, I think many library managers just need to adapt faster and more urgently to the changing information fabric, and weave themselves into Web2.0 consciousness as a node where real- and cyber-community meet. Then people will realise that libraries and librarians are indispensible, and we won’t have to remind people about it!

    So I think there’s an important distinction between just promoting ‘Libraries’ as such, and actively promoting these crucial new infomation services.

  • http://newcybrary.blogspot.com/ Terry Dawson

    While I can agree that the article shouldn’t *need* to have been written, the fact that there are doubters out there points to the sad necessity. Librarians certainly shouldn’t need it for ourselves, but having nice lists of things to quote, point to and hand out can be useful.

    I like it, because when I get into these arguments, I can pull out something reinforces the notion that this is not just my personal opinion. It helps demonstrate a preponderance of professional opinion and a body of literature supporting the view that libraries need to continue.

  • http://newcybrary.blogspot.com Terry Dawson

    While I can agree that the article shouldn’t *need* to have been written, the fact that there are doubters out there points to the sad necessity. Librarians certainly shouldn’t need it for ourselves, but having nice lists of things to quote, point to and hand out can be useful.

    I like it, because when I get into these arguments, I can pull out something reinforces the notion that this is not just my personal opinion. It helps demonstrate a preponderance of professional opinion and a body of literature supporting the view that libraries need to continue.

  • Pingback: eLearning Service » Blog Archive » Library links, February 6, 2007()

  • http://libraryvideos.blogspot.com/ Nancy Dowd

    Hi David,
    Speaking of valuing librarians… over here at the NJ State Library we’re conducting an experiment to see if we can break the record for the most comments posted on a YouTube video. The idea is to have people post their three reasons and then pass the word to five friends. Of course what makes it even better is that it will be a library video that breaks the record! Hope you post and pass the word! Thanks, Nancy

    Go to: http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZeQI25n8qPQ

  • http://libraryvideos.blogspot.com/ Nancy Dowd

    Hi David,
    Speaking of valuing librarians… over here at the NJ State Library we’re conducting an experiment to see if we can break the record for the most comments posted on a YouTube video. The idea is to have people post their three reasons and then pass the word to five friends. Of course what makes it even better is that it will be a library video that breaks the record! Hope you post and pass the word! Thanks, Nancy

    Go to: http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZeQI25n8qPQ