Following on from the previous post about ‘Library 2.0’ I would like to introduce the related term ‘Librarian 2.0’ and talk about what I believe to be some of the essential skills and attributes required of an information professional today. ‘Librarian 2.0’ is the general term used to describe library workers who use Web 2.0 tools and reflects the transition away from the more traditional roles usually associated with libraries. As you can see from this list compiled by Michelle Mach in 2003 there are a range of job titles now in use that show the changing nature of the work we do.
As Web 2.0 technologies evolve they allow for greater connectivity between people who are producing and sharing content online, creating networks and communities, and interacting with information and each other in unprecedented ways. The majority of libraries, regardless of type (public, educational, special) are concerned with providing the services that their users want and are harnessing technology in innovative ways to do that. Librarians working in this environment are increasingly working with digital content and tools and often act as intermediaries to assist their users in finding the information that they seek.
From the readings I’ve completed so far in this course and my own experience working in a library I would suggest that one of the main skills required of an information professional is the willingness to learn and try new things. It’s important to look at all of the tools that are available to us and to try them out so we can get a sense of what will suit our users. Asking for feedback and listening to what our users say they want is imperative, as is keeping up with trends so we can place ourselves ‘where our users are’ or where they are likely to find us.
We are living in an era of rapid and almost constant change, technology provides us with new opportunities to interact, communicate and learn. As information professionals it also offers us opportunities to be involved in helping others discover information in ubiquitous ways.
This great clip by Laura Cohen says it all for me.