Life Expectancy of a Searcher [top]
(14 Nov) The closing session of the Internet Librarian conference dealt with the future of search as a profession. Cindy Hill, Manager, SunLibrary, Sun Microsystems, Michael Stephens, Head of Networked Resources Development & Training, St. Joseph County Public Library and Barbara Quint, Editor of Searcher expressed concerns and shared ideas about the future role of the librarian as searcher.
Each believe that the role of the librarian now, and in the immediate future, should be as teacher. "Knowledge workers want to be self-sufficient," explained Hill. We need to understand how people of all ages learn so that we can teach them how to conduct research efficiently and effectively. This means we have to "see the big picture," adds Stephens. We have to stay informed about new sources of information as well as new communication and information delivery tools and technologies.
The panel also agreed that traditional librarianship as a profession is not growing. We need to look within it to find the threat to its existence. BQ strongly urged the need to call ourselves something other than librarians. She admonished that the profession has not been in the forefront of new information technologies.
Stephens further emphasized that librarians have to learn to speak the language of youth. Aided by virtual reference, instant messaging and video chat, today's youth learns visually. Librarians should use these technologies to reach this generation, which means we can no longer think about our libraries as physical places.
Posted: Fri - November 21, 2003 at 11:01 AM