New Librarianship

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“New Librarianship” Keynote Charleston Conference 2009, Charleston, SC.

Abstract: The best days of librarianship are ahead of us. However, to get there the field must step back, refocus, and reexamine our core principles. We as a profession have become so focused on the trees of standards and process that we are now at risk from missing the larger forest of opportunities. This talk will present a view of a new librarianship, one focused on knowledge and action instead of artifacts and collection. The presentation will look beyond the trends of today’s technologies to a durable new librarianship that focuses on innovation, leadership, and service.


6 responses on “New Librarianship

  1. Carol Perryman

    Dave, what a totally dynamic presentation (as some might say on certain forums – ‘my head asplodes’)! I wish I had been so fortunate as to be present in that audience – but I am glad to be present for the ongoing work that must occur if we are to direct change in our profession.

    One comment you made struck a chord (well, so many did, but this is the one to which I’ll respond): the idea that our role is to create a safe space for knowledge creation. You mention that our conferences, due perhaps to their entrenched ‘old dog’ behaviors (‘well, in 1942..’) are not welcoming spaces, and I agree, though I think it can happen when the opportunities are deliberately created.

    My own observations have been that the existing communication channels are *also* not safe spaces – for evidence, see the cinders of recent JESSE & Kunitz discussions about what is not said, not explored. As a doctoral student myself, I sometimes feel I navigate a minefield of expectations and constricted movement.

    This is what is not mentioned in your provocative presentation: IF our culture is not presently a welcoming and safe space, how can we make it so? IF our present spaces appear at times to actively discourage new ideas and more exploratory, future-focused conversations and research, how can we bring about that change?

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