What Version Are You?

I have been trying to read an article about how to properly use SWOT analysis for strategic planning. It is so riveting that I have been alternately staring off into space and checking my various email accounts. My library is beginning a strategic planning phase and I am on the Steering Committee. Strategery! I am hoping that we can address some technology concerns in our planning process, so I sent the committee the Library 2.0 paper and surrounding discussion, which I mentioned Sunday.

Since Sunday, I have been thinking quite a bit about Library and Librarian 2.0. This discussion reminds me of a similar theme, the Blended Librarian, first discussed by Steven J. Bell and John Shank. While I agree with many of the ideas behind being a “blended librarian,” I take issue with the term, because when I read the definition of what a blended librarian is I think that is what all librarians all should be. Here is the definition from the web site:

An academic librarian who combines the traditional skill set of librarianship with the information technologist’s hardware/software skills, and the instructional or educational designer’s ability to apply technology appropriately in the teaching-learning process.

Should not all librarians:

  • understand instructional design
  • have good technology skills
  • understand how technology can enhance resources and research
  • help professors integrate information literacy into their courses
  • promote integration of the library into the learning process

I do not think we need a fancy name. We already have a name, librarian. I think Library 2.0 is a different sort of concept, since it has more to do with collaborative software and how the library, not the librarian, interacts with the public. But if I were to define Librarian 2.0 it would go something like the following:

A Librarian 2.0 would:

  • understand and use disruptive technologies
  • recognize that the library has no walls, physical or otherwise, if information is truly to be free
  • work to reach users where and when the PON (point of need) occurs
  • work to educate coworkers and the public on different uses of communication and collaboration software

Very soon though, I think we should all be Librarian 2.0s. We will have to be for our users to find us useful at all. Then we will not need a fancy name like Library or Librarian 2.0. We will just be the Library in which there are Librarians.

What would you add to the list?

–Jane, a Jane by any other name…

For more information on the blended librarian, see the following:

Bell, Steven J. and John Shank. “The Blended Librarian: A Blueprint for Redifining the Teaching and Learning Role of Academic Librarians.” College and Research Libraries News 65 7: 372-375.