Professions Do Not Stand Still

I keep coming back to this post “I didn’t get an MLS to do that.”

Professions do not stand still.
Have you ever met a plumber who doesn’t work with PVC? An electrician who only uses knob and tube wiring? A firefighter who thinks those new fangled breathing masks are just too complicated? No, professionals who don’t keep up with the technologies that affect their work go out of business. Librarianship is not immune to that.

We don’t have a choice.
To me this is the most important reason. Even if we don’t like computers, our patrons do. Libraries have established themselves as the place to get on the internet. We market this. We brag about it. We get federal funding for it (well, a little…). It is not responsible to provide access to computers without also providing the staff training necessary to make sure our people have the competencies to help patrons with them.
Furthermore, the line between information tools, social software, games and productivity tools is thoroughly blurred by now. To expect that we can choose what part of the technology we will help patrons with is simply unrealistic.

The jobs we signed up for may not exist anymore.
Or, they may. It depends on how you look at it. I signed up for this because it’s a service profession. Nothing drives me more than getting someone exactly what they want. The “what they want” has changed in the years I’ve been on the job. If professionals cannot adapt to that or cannot accept this, then I understand when they say they didn’t get an MLS to do this.

When you’re confronted with blogging instead of writing the “What’s New at the Library” newsletter, or asked to participate in a Learning 2.0 course as part of your job, or recruited to implement a game program for teens at the library, think about this post and about the “blurred lines” between information, play and social interaction.