Thursday, June 08, 2006

A theory of librarianship

I'm going to St. Cloud State University's Learning Resources Center (a.k.a. library) tomorrow to see the teleconference with outgoing ALA president Michael Gorman on the subject of library education. This is a topic near and dear to me, and while I'm not sure I'm with Gorman on a lot of issues, I think I'm nearer his end of the spectrum when it comes to opinion on education.

I've come up with my own theory of "librarianship" from many years of working in public library settings. More than seven years of experience as a library aide, branch assistant librarian, and now library assistant have formed me, and so has my year and a half as a bookseller for Barnes & Noble. It's a service occupation, it involves other people, and it involves a core set of principles and a skills set and a knowledge set that go beyond just knowing how to find something via Google. Obviously, I am a fan of technology, but I also realize that people—both librarians and library users (borrowers, patrons, whatever they may be called)--are the core of the profession.

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