“Who Needs ‘Em?”

David Warlick would like your elevator speeches about the value of librarians!


While at the National School Boards Association Conference the other day, more than one school board member came up to me, a tech guy, and asked, “We’re trying desperately to find ways to deal with budget crunches. With all of these computers and access to online information, do we really need librarians or libraries any more?”

This is one of those questions that I absolutely love to hear — if I have an hour to answer. It’s a question that I hate, if I only have a minute to answer. I said that the key word here is information, that information has not only become infinitely more important than it was ten years ago, but its very nature has changed (digital, networked, overwhelming, and containerless). In most schools there is only one person who understands this and is qualified and equipped to help the schools adapt — the librarian. I think that this answer got me about one step toward the destination I was after, but I needed to get about a mile further.

If you have only a minute to support librarians, what would be your elevator answer?

Please share your thoughts with David via his blog post!