"Structural Change" and Librarianship

Jeffrey Stanton, Syracuse University | Jan 17, 2012

Recent headlines across the US attribute high unemployment rates to "structural changes" in our economy. What are these structural changes and how will they impact librarianship over the years to come? Structural change results from a mismatch between what people can do, given their experience and education, and what hiring organizations actually need. This explains why we can simultaneously have high unemployment and firms that have great difficulty filling positions with qualified workers.

Being "Librarian 2.0": It's all in the attitude

Helen Partridge, Queensland University of Technology | Jan 17, 2012

A recent Australian study identified the skills and knowledge that library and information professionals require in the Web 2.0 world. Funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council, the study involved 81 librarians participating in a series of focus groups. The study concluded that a so-called "Librarian 2.0" needs a complex mix of transferable skills, including teamwork, communication, business skills, lifelong learning and personal traits such as creativity, flexibility, adaptability and persistence.

Throughout my more than 30-year career as a university librarian, I have witnessed how our activities and learnings have changed. Many of our goals remain the same: to promote reading, knowledge and technical organization of library resources. However, the ways of doing things have changed and some new goals have been introduced. Tasks have increased, becoming more technical and specialized, and it's essential that we incorporate new knowledge to keep up-to-date as we serve the university community.

Choose Your Channel

Joe Walsh, Elsevier | Jan 17, 2012

How "Muggles" Can Enrich the Library Team

Donna Carroll, University of Leiden | Jan 17, 2012

The University of Warwick is one of the UK's leading universities, ranked seventh overall in the last national assessment of researchers. The university library has been developing innovative ways to meet the needs of this community of researchers, as well as the needs of its students and teaching faculty.

My role as the Academic Services Development Manager at the University of Warwick Library, UK, was created in October 2009. It was intended to:

It is widely recognized that simple access to digital information is not enough. Tools and strategies are needed to sift through what can be thought of as a beach full of information when you are looking for a grain of sand. One digital sieve that is gaining momentum in the library is the application. On August 12, 40 coders gathered at the National University of Singapore (NUS) to create 16 such applications for Elsevier's SciVerse platform in the first annual Singapore Code Jam (SGCodeJam24).

As a librarian within the Information Services department, I serve as liaison to the Economics and Public Policy departments and schools. In some ways my duties remain the same as those of my predecessors: outreach and assisting students and staff. But a librarian today needs to be familiar with all the different ways to communicate with users and keep up to date with information and emerging technologies.

In the June issue of the Library Connect Newsletter, we invited librarians and information professionals to participate in the Apps for Library Idea Challenge 2011. We received 41 app ideas from 14 countries. The international competition invited participants to propose solutions to the challenges that they and their users face in the search and discovery process. The winners, announced in November at the 2011 Charleston Conference in Charleston, SC, are librarians Ke Khoon Low, National University of Singapore, and Andrea Szwajcer, University of Manitoba, Canada.