Libraries are for Use

Demonstrating the value of librarianship

Emerald | Looking Back, Looking Ahead with Jaeger, Bertot and Hines


Source: Emerald | Looking Back, Looking Ahead with Jaeger, Bertot and Hines

Here are some thoughts about the past year and the year to come in librarianship.  I think the question, “What were the biggest changes in 2015?”, is not terribly appropriate for our field.  Like an ship, librarianship (OK, pun intended) does not turn on a dime.  Even the rather radical change to demand-driven acquisitions has taken ten years to fully unfold.  A potential change may get a lot of attention (and “air” time in the professional media), but the actual change may or may never happen, and years from now, if it does.  I think a better question, and the one that the authors appear to have answered, is, “What has garnered the most attention in librarianship in 2015?”

I’m not sure if you can say “continued” anything is a big “change”…while I do not doubt the significance of these issues, libraries have been facing budget issues at least throughout the entire modern era of libraries.  And we have been doubting our relevance since I started library school when the Web was a neonate.  Now, the emphasis on community, while not exactly new, I believe did gain momentum.

I’m intrigued by the “sustainable development” concept for 2016…and not thrilled about the prospect of “leaner” staff models.  How much fat is left to trim?  I agree that more libraries will be opening up their spaces and physical books will likely be moved or removed.  Whether that is good, bad or just different…time will only tell.  If we have “leaner staff models” how can we continue to grow new services (community engagement) and maintain our current services (providing a wide selection of print books in open shelves)?

So, what are your thoughts?

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This entry was posted on December 15, 2015 by in Intriguing Ideas, LIS Profession, Open Access, Public Library.

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