Wednesday, June 8, 2011
A wonderful lunch with three wonderful librarians, two who work in major research libraries and one who has started her own information consulting business. I've collaborated with all of them on social bookmarking and similar activities. It was great being in their company. One common theme we discussed is the evolution of the library, and our entrepreneurial friend has even gone as far to say something like librarians need to stop thinking of only libraries. It reminded me a lot of Randy Hensley's talk from the other day, he was familiar to at least one of the participants. The thinking that emerged was one of being less tied to specific positions and institutions and developing useful skills and abilities, even venturing into learning programming languages or about metadata and APIs. (Librarians venturing into similar areas has been discussed in a lively fashion elsewhere, though I believe my friends were talking about individual initiative rather than something mandated from above. ) It takes some persistence and courage and willingness to ask questions. Some online training was referenced. I think back to my own early days and getting flumoxed trying to learn GoLive Cyberstudio in a training session, I just didn't have the graphical chops and cheated myself out of learning other software and infrastructure that might have led somewhere. These librarians are willing. I can learn from their example, especially one of the academic librarians who had an idea for tracking faculty influence on politics, although I am probably misrepresenting it. And some great sites were shared. And they wished me well in my new undertaking. Thanks to all.