Friday, October 9, 2009

I want to their name is

A few days ago I went to an optional colloquia for several reasons.

1. I don't trust the weather and life and find its better safe then sorry when it comes to having to make x number of y meetings required. I'm not messing with that.
2. With my own school changing its name, I wanted to learn more about why all this hub-bub about name changes? Why was this organization was finally considering changing its own name?
3. I wanted to go to a meeting, see what it was like.
4. Despite the fact I am painfully shy, I wanted to try a little networking.
5. I was curious, and what better reason is there then that?

Well, after getting led through what felt like a labyrinth of halls, doorways, stairs in a variety of twists and turns I finally got there! (seriously, was this place built by a contractor with add? Quick, someone get me a ball of golden twine so I can get out!)

The talk focused on the fact that while people like to hold on to what's familiar, the most successful individuals, organizations and companies are the ones who change. Special Libraries Association was only meant to be a placeholder name until an appropriate one could be decided upon. Perhaps it is better to have waited, with the development of so many new technologies, libraries are not just books anymore. I feel strongly that Librarian does not do justice to describing what it is these people really do for the communities, companies, and organizations they work for.

The point that really drove home with me was that by closely defining ourselves as 'librarians' we have boxed ourselves in and are actually driving away potential jobs. Those working in the corporate environment see that employers don't realize our worth because we do not speak up enough, we aren't speaking the same language as employers and are missing out on a lot of great job opportunity's!

{ { { There is a corporate language that we need to be aware of, learn, and use! } } }

Librarian and Library are words that have not a negative stigma necessarily, but a stale and stagnant one. I prefer to tell people I am going to school to become an Information Specialist, or Information Professional. You would be amazed at the change in how I am received by people when I do this. Their perception of me changes immediately.

Information is a commodity to companies. Everyone wants the best information, the fastest, most secure, most reliable way they can get it. And most importantly, they want it in a form they can understand.

Isn't this the basic service that librarians have always provided?

~~~ It is stupid to fight the waves of change, you are just going to beaten to death by them. ~~~

To learn more about their mission for redefining themselves from librarians to ... something else ... but still holding true to what it is a librarian does at heart, please go to the SLA Blog "Align in O9"

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