I’m a librarian and here are a few of my thoughts on libraries and librarianship.
Libraries enrich and change people’s lives and communities by providing all users the freedom to explore and expand their understanding of the world and to increase their enjoyment of life through lifelong learning and the pursuit of popular interests. As a librarian I’m interested in the interactions that library users have with, and in, the physical library space, their use of technology to access many of our increasingly digital resources, and how the intersection of people, place, and technology impact users’ experience of community, study, and reflection. I find the continuing changes in the world of information and library services exciting and challenging. Continual advances and changes in technology have opened the world of information resources to more people and made information access much easier than in previous generations. At the same time, it can make information use and technological proficiency more challenging for novice and expert users alike. As a librarian I seek to help diverse users learn how to find, access, evaluate, and use reliable information in their personal and professional activities.
The genesis of an idea
librarylimbo.net started as a learning exercise engaging with Library 2.0 tools to explore how they could be used in an academic library setting. I began envisioning this site a short time later. Several of the personal learning goals I laid out around that time included becoming familiar with content management systems, exploring open source integrated library systems such as Evergreen and Koha, investigating institutional repositories, and keeping abreast of the current and future trends in technology and services which will shape libraries for years to come. I started this site on a Linux test server using Joomla but switched to Drupal early on – and now I’m on to WordPress. I am still exploring and trying to keep up!
As we move from where libraries have traditionally been to where we need to go, we must hold on to the good things of the profession, while letting go of habits and mindsets that may not serve well in the future. Then, we can grab hold of new resources, technologies, and ways of doing things to create new services to meet the needs of a society inundated with information, pressed for time, and always in a hurry. Combine a high level of expectation from a tech-savvy culture with information created, used, and lost in the digital landscape. This means we have plenty of exciting and important work with which to keep engaged for a lifetime of fruitful exploration, discovery, and service.