Rebranding the Librarian Profession
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Rebranding the Librarian Profession

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November, 2007 presentation at the Hawaii Library Association conference. With Annis Lee Adams

November, 2007 presentation at the Hawaii Library Association conference. With Annis Lee Adams

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Rebranding the Librarian Profession Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Rebranding the Librarian Profession: A Project of the ALA Emerging Leaders Program
    • Annis Lee Adams
    • University of Hawaii at Manoa
    • Jenny Emanuel
    • University of Central Missouri
    November 10, 2007 HLA Annual Conference
  • 2. ALA Emerging Leaders Program
    • Leadership Training
    • Project Selection
    • Virtual Work Groups
    • Poster Session
    HLA Annual Conference November 10, 2007
  • 3. What is the ALA Emerging Leaders Program?
    • Emerging Leaders began in 2007 as one of ALA Immediate Past President Leslie Burger’s six initiatives.
    • The program enables newer librarians (< 5 years post-MLS) from across the country to:
      • work on a small group project
      • network with peers
      • gain an inside look into ALA structure
      • have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity
    HLA Annual Conference November 10, 2007
  • 4. How we became ELs
    • Lee was sponsored by the Hawaii Library Association
    • Jenny was sponsored by the Missouri Library Association
    • Application included:
      • Writing a personal statement
      • Demonstrating employer support for us to attend ALA Midwinter and Annual Conferences
      • Providing a letter of recommendation
      • Agreeing to commit to serving on an ALA committee
    HLA Annual Conference November 10, 2007
  • 5. Prior to the 2007 ALA Midwinter Meeting
    • We were emailed a long list of potential projects
    • We ranked our top choices
    • We were assigned to a project with a team of six people:
      • 3 academic librarians
      • 1 young adult librarian
      • 1 government agency librarian
      • 1 systems librarian for a public library consortium
    HLA Annual Conference November 10, 2007
  • 6. At the Midwinter Meeting
    • We had a day long leadership training with handful of different speakers
    • A working lunch where we made a workplan with our team about our project
    • Evening reception for networking with ELs and ALA folks
    HLA Annual Conference November 10, 2007
  • 7. At ALA Annual Conference
    • Half day of leadership training
    • Working lunch to set up posters
    • Poster session with the findings of our survey
    HLA Annual Conference November 10, 2007
  • 8. Our Project
    • What are the options for rebranding the librarian profession in the digital age?
    • We decided to conduct a survey of library folk using Survey Monkey
    HLA Annual Conference November 10, 2007
  • 9. Survey Objectives
    • Analyze current stereotypes of librarians
    • Research options for rebranding the librarian profession
    • Question library professionals on the perceptions of librarians and what a better image may be
    • Propose solutions for rebranding the librarian profession
    HLA Annual Conference November 10, 2007
  • 10. Examples of Past Efforts at Rebranding
    • Ms. Dewey (search engine)
    • Lipstick Librarian (blog)
    • You Don’t Look Like a Librarian (blog)
    • ALA Read Posters @ Your Library
    HLA Annual Conference November 10, 2007
  • 11. Obstacles to Rebranding
    • Diversity of types of libraries and librarians makes it difficult to come up with a single brand
    • Librarians generally do not have marketing background
    • Lack of funding for marketing campaigns
    HLA Annual Conference November 10, 2007
  • 12. Survey Methodology
    • Survey had 13 questions distributed via listservs, blogs, and AL Direct (ALA e-newsletter)
    • 4 demographic questions: age, librarian?, education, employer
    • 3 on library use
    • 2 on perceptions of librarians
    • 1 Likert scale with 10 general statements about librarians
    • 3 open-ended questions: describe the librarian of the digital age, how to communicate about the profession, “only a librarian can deliver __ to__”
    HLA Annual Conference November 10, 2007
  • 13. Results
    • Over 3400 responses
    • 88.3% of respondents were librarians
    • Mostly academic (39.9%) and public (29.1%) librarians
    HLA Annual Conference November 10, 2007
  • 14. Respondent Demographics HLA Annual Conference November 10, 2007
  • 15. Respondents’ perceptions of librarians HLA Annual Conference November 10, 2007
  • 16. How respondents ranked others’ perceptions of librarians HLA Annual Conference November 10, 2007
  • 17. Librarians: HLA Annual Conference November 10, 2007
  • 18. Librarians: HLA Annual Conference November 10, 2007
  • 19. What 3 words describe the librarian in the digital age?
    • Tech Savvy (687)
    • Information/Informed (376)
    • Knowledgeable (368)
    • Flexible (317)
    • Savvy (277)
    • Innovative (262)
    • Helpful (208)
    HLA Annual Conference November 10, 2007
  • 20. Summary & Recommendations
    • The librarian community believes the current
    • public perception of librarians is “Book Expert,”
    • while we think of ourselves as “Research Experts.”
    • So, 3 suggestions of how to reposition ourselves in the public eye as the &quot;ultimate human search engine&quot; and escape the single-focused stereotype of &quot;book worm“. . .
    HLA Annual Conference November 10, 2007
  • 21. Recommendation 1
    • Design a media marketing campaign for television, radio, online outlets, and print that shows realistic, modern librarians doing the diversity of work within the profession.
    • Show librarians that are adaptable, cutting edge, helpful, hip, innovative, professional, and tech-savvy.
    • Promote the person, instead of the building.
    • This will demystify the profession and entice others to consider such a career. The librarian as an &quot;Info-naut.&quot;
    HLA Annual Conference November 10, 2007
  • 22. Recommendation 2
    • Rethink the library as a physical location.
    • Bring the services librarians provide &quot;out of the stacks&quot; and into the community.
    • Create a &quot;third space&quot; that showcases library services that are integrated into the physical and virtual community.
    • Librarians &quot;taking to the streets&quot; of both communities and cyberspace.
    HLA Annual Conference November 10, 2007
  • 23. Recommendation 3
    • Network beyond the librarian profession and &quot;infiltrate&quot; other professional associations and publications.
    • Demonstrate the powerful skill set of librarians and the valuable contributions they can make to the success of all professions.
    • Librarians as keystone professionals in society like doctors and lawyers.
    HLA Annual Conference November 10, 2007
  • 24. Our Project Team HLA Annual Conference November 10, 2007
  • 25. Emerging Leaders: Our Experiences
    • Pluses
      • Networking
      • Working with young librarians wanting to move librarianship forward
    • Minuses
      • Did not learn much about ALA
      • Lack of mentorship
      • Little guidance in joining an ALA committee despite it being a requirement of the program
    HLA Annual Conference November 10, 2007
  • 26. Any Questions??
    • Thank you for attending our session!
    HLA Annual Conference November 10, 2007