A small plot on the community link farm, this is passed along from one of my library school classmates. Sure sounds like what we’ve been up to, huh?
Hack Library School: New Librarianship
Filed under Education, Jaime, Scholarship
Tagged as librarianship, library school, links
Pingback: Discuss: | Occupy Wall Street Library | Occupy Wall Street Info
I second that. I left my thoughts in their comment section in their blog as well: we don’t need to emulate a “work as lifestyle” ethic that furthers an emulation of the silicon valley in order to make the world a better place.
During the 1960s, many librarians had an expanded view of their roles, not only as employees who worked in specific libraries, but as representatives of a profession which has had a long history of social responsibility. Librarians were instruments of social change. As a profession, it was our duty to fight censorship, promote literacy, or provide needed- information to all people in our society, especially to those with marginal, non-mainstream viewpoints who would might, otherwise, not have access to information.
I agree with the goals of the “New Librarianship” expressed in the above essay and I also think that the Occupy Wall Street Library is demonstrating the responsibilities many of us in the profession have neglected. One of the problems I see with librarianship today is the tendency for librarians (especially academic librarians) to work so hard to conform to the corporatization of our universities. This corporatization is changing the roles of librarians…and not for the better. Our students and patrons are now “customers.” We have lost our connection with those we serve- “The People.” And in the race to adopt every new-fangled techno trend that comes about (just for technology sake), librarians are turning themselves into “information scientists” rather than LIBRARIANS.
There is more to being a librarian than searching for information and being technologically-saavy in our personal jobs. We also represent a larger Profession which requires us to take seriously our roles as agents for social change. It’s not about pushing a certain political agenda- it’s about making sure people everywhere and of all viewpoints have access to the information they need to be educated and make informed decisions. I think these goals are not new…just forgotten. I am so hopeful to find people like yourselves revitalizing the humanitarian aspects of our profession.
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