Friday, November 02, 2007

New Librarians, New Possibilities?

Are newer, incoming librarians changing the profession? Maybe. But not yet. University Affairs has published an article called The New Librarians, which highlights some of the new ideas that newer librarians are bringing into academic libraries. Everyone's favourite University Librarian (at least for me), Jeff Trzeciak, who has his own blog, is featured in the piece, and in it, he describes how he has swiftly hired new Library 2.0-ready librarians as well as overturning the traditional style decor and culture of McMaster Library, with items such as a "café, diner-style booths, stand-up workstations, oversized ottomans, and even coffee tables with pillows on the floor will take their place, all equipped for online access. Interactive touch-screen monitors will line the wall."

University of Guelph Chief Librarian Michael Ridley, similarly sees a future where the university library serves as an “academic town square,” a place that "brings people and ideas together in an ever-bigger and more diffuse campus. Services in the future will include concerts, lectures, art shows – anything that trumpets the joy of learning."

Is this the future of libraries? Yes, it's a matter of time. That's where we're heading -- that's where we'll end up. It is a matter of time. Change is difficult, particularly in larger academic institutions where bureaucracy and politics play an essential role in all aspects of operations. There is great skepticism towards Jeff Trzeciak's drastic changes to McMaster Library -- he's either a pioneer if he succeeds, or an opportunist if he fails. A lot is riding on Jeff's shoulders.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's an interesting piece to read, Allan. Interesting and encouraging. Thanks for pointing that out.