Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Sixth rung - INF506 - Module 4; Information professional 2.0

Module 4; Information professional 2.0

The essential knowledge, skills and attributes required of a information professional in a Web 2.0 world, is a multifaceted obligation. But does it require a new bred of librarian? Not really, external influences have constantly affected the roles required of librarians. Librarians are practiced at providing and accessing the technologies required with dealing with an amalgam of information formats. The technological advances that have caused the current changes in how and in what format we provide information, are no more complex that those caused the aligning of methodologies from Browne card systems to microfiche to computers (Lawton, & Scott, 2005).
The new methodologies of academic libraries now revolve around technology and have required library staff to again evolve their skills in order to become a combination of reference librarian and web specialist, utilizing a working knowledge of social media platforms and teaching technologies.
A willingness to adapt our thinking to include the new is essential, especially when we must come to terms with the fact that some, if not all, of our clients may not be physically in front of us. Social networking, both from our client’s standpoint as well as our need to be in ‘contact’ with other information specialists, requires us to take advantage of what Google and others have to offer, rather than avoid them (Cohen, 2006).
We are a ‘greying’ profession. Those who work in libraries are, as a group, significantly older than those in other professions. Lynch (2007) states that 67 percent of librarians are over 40 years of age, and only 7 percent of librarians fit in the 20-29 year age range. This is in direct contrast to the age groups of the majority of their ‘digital native’ clients who know no other world than the one that encompasses technologies that gives them instant access to information in work, study and social activities.
Library staff must cultivate their own Web 2.0 skills in order to take advantage of the technologies that are increasingly being accepted as the norm by their clients, in order to continue to perform in our information profession we must learn to embrace the formats that now provide the information we transact business from.
Cohen, L. (2006). A librarian’s 2.0 manifesto. Retrieved from; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZblrRs3fkSU
Lawton, F. D. & Scott, C. (2005). Integration: the glue that holds the digital library together. In Huthwaite, A. (Ed.), Managing information in the digital age: The Australian technology network libraries respond (pp. 29-51). Adelaide: The librarians of the Australian Technology Network.
Lynch, M. J. (2002). Age of librarians. American Library Association. Retreved from; http://www.ala.org/research/librarystaffstats/librarystaffstudies/ageoflibrarians

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