Sad Facts of Librarianship

All technologies evolve and die. Every technology you learned about in library school will be dead someday.

You fear loss of control, but that has already happened. Ride the wave.

You are the middle-man to filter information to the users.

You are not a format. You are a service.

The OPAC is not the sun. The OPAC is at best a distant planet, every year moving farther from the orbit of its solar system.

The user is the sun.

The user is the magic element that transforms librarianship from a gate keeping trade to a services profession.

The user is not broken.

Your system is broken until proven otherwise.

That vendor who just sold you the million-dollar system because “librarians need to help people” doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about, and his system is broken, too.

You spend money on things that are free.

Most of your most passionate users will never meet you face to face.

Most of your most alienated users will never meet you face to face.

The most significant help you can provide your users is to add value and meaning to the information experience, wherever it happens; defend their right to read; and then get out of the way.

Your website is your ambassador to tomorrow’s taxpayers. They will meet the website long before they see your building, your physical resources, or your people.

It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than to find a library website that is usable and friendly and provides services rather than talking about them in weird library jargon.

Information flows down the path of least resistance. If you block a tool the users want, users will go elsewhere to find it.

You cannot change the user, but you can transform the user experience to meet the user.

Meet people where they are–not where you want them to be.

Help users learn the library is not just about books.

The user is not “remote.” You, the librarian, are remote, and it is your job to close that gap.

If you don’t continue to challenge yourself to meet new goals, you will fall behind.

The average library decision about implementing new technologies takes longer than the average life cycle for new technologies.

Revolutionary for libraries is old news to most teens.

If you are reading about it in Time and Newsweek and your library isn’t adapted for it or offering it, you’re behind.

If we continue the format and ignoring the user, we will be tomorrow’s cobblers.

We have wonderful third spaces that offer our users a place where they can think and dream and experience information. Is your library a place where people can dream?

Your ignorance will not protect you.

There is hope.

Libraries:
Start today by forming a TAG group, and listen to their ideas.
Listen to your patrons and connect them with your technology staff.
Pick something you have the resources for and make it digital. Focus on this one thing and do your best to make it what the patrons and the library wants. Then write an article about it, or do a presentation, and start something else, while maintaining the old one.

Student Librarians:
Pick one something besides reading that teens you know like: blogging, machinima, manga, gaming, web design… and start enjoying it, and then create something related to your interest. Figure out how to use the different technology and use them.
I know there is a lot of reading in library school but find the time to listen to audio books instead of reading a book, read at least one blog regularly that relates to an interest of yours, and one librarian blog.
Watch a few Teen movies, and machinima. Try listening to a podcast about anything you are interested in.

Start a Flickr account
Start a Blog
If you ever see or read about technology you don’t know about try it out.

and most importantly be original and Have Fun.

origially posted on Free Range Librarian
modified and added to by Jami Schwarzwalder

About Jami Schwarzwalder

Currently a teen librarian with the Pierce County Library System in Tacoma, WA.She is passionate about technology, making, and learning. See what I'm up to at https://about.me/jamischwarzwalder
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