Speaking at the Delaware Library Town Hall, Dover, in January 2011, R. David Lankes spoke about ‘The future of librarianship’. R. David Lankes challenges librarians, and library staff, not to be passive as change occurs in the profession. Librarians need to be “proactive” when they encounter changes which some in the profession fear will push library professionals out of libraries in favour of dumbed down services. Change will happen whether we like it or not, so can librarians see opportunities in the change to engage more fully with “members” of the library?
This is a really inspiring talk, worth listening to a few times if you think you understood it the first time. It is just under 20 minutes on Vimeo.com, (audio from R. David Lankes website). Lankes asks ‘Are you OK with that?’ when librarians see a future in which library services are delivered not by librarians but by computers. He wants librarians to see people, “YOU”, as the centre of activity for librarians, not buildings, statistic collection, technology, or the latest computer applications. Using this idea, he changes the usual question ‘What is the future of libraries?’ into ‘What should be the future of libraries and librarians in a democracy?’ He suggests ‘The mission of librarians is to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communities.”
Some great quotes I took away from from the talk include:
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The Australian Library and Information Association‘s April InCite has an interesting article by Anne Lahey (James Cook University Library, Cairns) called ‘EEI… Energise, Enthuse, Inspire.’ Anne Lahey asks:
Anne Lahey asks are we adequately training our potential library and information sector (LIS) leaders to be ready for the expectations of the future?… The ‘greying’ of the profession forces us to look at our next generation of managers, and offers us the opportunity to influence how this changing of the guard will play out.
EEI… Energise, Enthuse, Inspire / by Anne Lahey, InCite, Australian Library and Information Association, pg 19, April 2011
Bob Sutton’s ‘Work Matters’ Blog has this interesting test for the people in your workplace – The ARSE Test. Who will turn out to be the obnoxious jerks? As opposed to the people who take the time to try and make sure things actually work (and are usually labelled ‘Slow’ [we need more slow!]).
The site is also worth checking out for more information about interesting workplace issues, especially Knowledge Management issues, and Human Resources. He also has a Twitter Feed.
An article by Bob Sutton and Jeffrey Pfeffer in the Stanford Social Innovation Review outlines some of Bob Sutton’s views that:
The time has come for an evidence-based management movement. Like evidence-based medicine, evidence-based management can help managers figure out what works and what doesn’t, identify the dangerous half-truths that constitute so much of what passes for wisdom, and reject the total nonsense that too often passes for sound advice.
Act on facts not faith / Bob Sutton & Jeffrey Pfeffer, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Spring 2006, viewed 22.05.2011
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