At the beginning of the semester I started following a new blog by a fellow library school student who was starting her first semester at Syracuse’s iSchool called Cataoging Kyra. Kyra has been making some great thought provoking posts about the world of libraries and librarians based off of the concept of New Librarianship (which Syracuse had an MOOC in over the summer I wanted to take but it started before my semester was over). Once such post made me want to stand up and apluad, and I’ve been meaning to write a response to it for the last few weeks, but, alas, work, fieldwork, assignments, and a few migraines have gotten in the way. This week has been no better with it being the week of my Comprehensive Evaluation that determines whether or not I graduate. However, I think I can take a break from one of the hardest papers I’ve ever had to write to finally get around to it. Plus, I’m at work and I can write between phone calls.
The post that made me cheer was called Proving Our Worth about what is a library and proving libraries still have worth in the Internet Age. She mentions how most people only see libraries as housing books and nothing else, that they are un aware of the other materials and services we provide. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked “I can get that at the library?” It’s more times than I care to count. Not to mention the nearly ten years of people asking me “You need a Master’s to put books back on a shelf?” or “Libraries aren’t going to be around when you graduate,” or some other variation or combination of that.
Kyra says it’s up to us as the new generation of librarians to change people’s perspective of what a library is, and she’s absolutely right. We are the new face of libraries. If we want to change what people thinkg of us we need to defend our libraries when they are attacked the way Miami Libraries and Pasco County Media Specialists where threatened earlier this year. We also have to face the fact that the future is now. Stop talking about implimenting new technology in the library and do it! Evolve with the times. If teens want a game night, give it to them, show them we can be hip and cool and show off those skills we’ve been honing longer than they’ve been alive. Change what we do to fit what people need and expect in the 21st century, and you’ll change how they see us.
I want to share the following quote from her blog:
I will not be satisfied by old ideas of what libraries are “supposed to be” or do or provide. I’m catching glimpses of a new path forward, of new ways to think about libraries and librarians and the work we do. And I won’t let fear stand in my way.
Neither will I. I plan to help pave this new path forward when I graduate in a few weeks. I have some great ideas for new programs. And I’m not afriad either After all, I’m a Jedi.