Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Librarian of the future

Had an interesting meeting yesterday set up by Niamh re librarian of the future. I had further thoughts on the topic which I thought I'd like to note.

-Lack of marketing and PR has been a major problem. Librarians of the future need to spin like all the other professionals - branding is important! I believe marketing needs to concentrate on the time which can be saved by the organisations and by individuals if they are given accurate, quality information, which is where librarians come in. Specialists, eg. doctors, lawyers, civil servants, engineers etc. often don't have the time to put aside for this. Their time is also more expensive to the organisation than ours!

-Teaching searching techniques/critical appraisal of specialist papers/referencing comes into our brief for future development. Librarians might be more accepted in some institutions if librarians had teaching qualifications. A 4 year degree in librarianship, with the 4th year equivalent to the 1 yr postgrad. teaching diploma might help.

-The researcher I heard speak in the last year - can't remember which meeting - gave a list of his wants which included:- copyright advice, help with getting published, help with citations, help with indexing terminology, open access advice. All of this could fall within our brief for the future.

-Librarian of the future - unlikely to have a fixed abode if working in a scientific community- outreach to researchers and departments. Not governed by physical space.

- Some specialism in licensing and legal terminology for publisher deals. Negotiation skills.

- Understanding techiniques of digitisation and promoting it.

- Management skills - the library is as good as its staff.

- "What people think is important isn't necessarily what we think is important" (Terry Kendrick)- Has CILIP every surveyed different user groups to ask their needs? "Information only has value when you use it." Our core users need to believe in us. We have to make an effect, publicise it and collect testimonials to justify our existence to our stakeholders in order to be at the top of the pile.

That's enough pontficating for 1 morning!

Interested to hear other ideas!


  1. Hi Anne,
    This is a great post, I've bookmarked it so it will come up on Thanks again for coming along last night! Now I really must do my own post.

  2. you're so quick off the mark! I'm playing catchup now!

  3. I'm impressed with the speed of posting, too - hoping to have something up by the end of today, but I can't promise!