Office Hours: Formula for Success #NextLibrary2017


This column is based on my contributions to our workshop at Next Library 2017.

How do we “build a librarian” for 21st-century information work? It’s an ongoing discussion in libraries and LIS programs that has many sides and a range of opinion. Some argue that while library school offers the foundations, theories, and service concepts of the profession, on-the-job experience seasons the information professional for doing the work. I would argue it is a mix of all of these things and more. How do we insure the folks serving our varied constituents have the skill sets and attitudes required?

Submitted is this equation:

Essential Skills + Mindset² x Support = Success

Each part of the formula is vital, and the outcome doesn’t work if any are removed. The responsibility for success depends on a careful balance of LIS education, the individual, the institution, and the profession. Unpacking the various elements of the equation paints a full picture of what will help this information professional thrive.

I am looking forward to sharing this formula in a workshop at the Next Library Conference in Aarhus, Denmark, June 11–14. I am coteaching with Jan Holmquist, assistant library director, Guldborgsund Public Library in Denmark, and Mylee Joseph, consultant, Public Libraries and Engagement Division, State Library of New South Wales, Australia. Through some playful and interactive work with our participants, we will explore what it means to be a catalyst for learning and change within our institutions. I am excited to see where the conversation will take us.