Rise of the cyborgs: the growth of librarian-IT hybrids

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In this presentation for CILIP's Umbrella 2013 conference, Simon Barron explored the impact of technology on librarianship and the increased amalgamation of library and IT roles. By examining the skills and technologies of librarian-IT hybrids, we see the future of librarianship and information management.

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Rise of the cyborgs: the growth of librarian-IT hybrids

  1. 1. Rise of the cyborgs: the growth of librarian-IT hybrids Simon Barron Project Analyst – British Library @SimonXIX
  2. 2. Project Analyst Roving IT Support E-collections and Service Analyst
  3. 3. Hilbert, M., and López, P. (2011) The World’s Technological Capacity to Store, Communicate, and Compute Information. Science, 332 (60).
  4. 4. “the question is… how to have a truly collaborative relationship when the library is about 90% customer of IT and 10% collaborator with IT.” Jastram, I. (2012) Libraries, IT departments, and complex relationships. Pegasus librarian [Online] Available from: http://pegasuslibrarian.c om/2012/03/libraries-it- departments-and- complex- relationships.html [Accessed 26 January 2013] “I don’t know if we’re their most complicated customers on campus, but we’re probably right up there.”
  5. 5. Mathews, J. M., & Pardue, H. (2009) The Presence of IT Skill Sets in Librarian Position Announcements. College & research libraries, 70 (3). 72% of job ads contained at least one IT skill. From ALA’s online JobList over five months: 38% referred to a requirement for Web development skills. 57% of those required at least one more. Four ads required programming languages.
  6. 6. “…significant inter-section between the skill sets of librarians and the skill sets of IT professionals.” From: Mathews, J. M., & Pardue, H. (2009) The Presence of IT Skill Sets in Librarian Position Announcements. College & research libraries, 70 (3).
  7. 7. Sham – brar – i – an
  8. 8. “creatures of nature and culture, biology and technology...” Dery, M. (2013) “Futureshock” proves that the future really is unevenly distributed. io9 [Online] Available from: http://io9.com/5982864/f utureshock-proves-that-the- future-really-is-unevenly- distributed [Accessed 3 June 2013].
  9. 9. “It could be argued that librarians should not so much ride out the storm, waiting for the storm to subside, as ride on the storm – in other words, take a proactive approach by seeking out new roles outside the library and making change management an integral part of their professional remit.” Barton, J. (2006) Digital librarians: boundary riders on the storm, Library review, 55 (2).
  10. 10. Librarianship skills Cataloguing Metadata Licensing Technical library services
  11. 11. Tech skills Coding Hardware troubleshooting Systems development Web design
  12. 12. Communication skills Teamwork Relationship management Jargon translation
  13. 13. Personal skills “an enquiring mind” Research skills Analysis “a strong interest in learning new things” Self-teaching
  14. 14. “The abundance of information may also result in cognitive overload, distraction, and amnesia (the forgetful present). New forms of systemic vulnerabilities arise from the increasing reliance on informational infrastructures.” The Onlife Initiative (2013) The onlife manifesto: being human in a hyperconnected era.
  15. 15. “Man has, as it were, become a kind of prosthetic God. When he puts on all his auxiliary organs he is truly magnificent; but those organs have not grown on to him and they still give him much trouble at times.” Freud, S. (1930) Civilization and its discontents.
  16. 16. “So, we are in a crisis of knowledge at the same time that we are in an epochal exaltation of knowledge. We fear for the institutions on which we have relied for trustworthy knowledge, but there's a joy we can feel pulsing through our culture... It comes from the networking of knowledge.” Weinberger, D. (2011) Too big to know: rethinking knowledge now that the facts aren't the facts, experts are everywhere, and the smartest person in the room is the room. New York: Basic Books.
  17. 17. All images licensed under Creative Commons licenses ‘Dante Cyborg’ by Flickr user: The PIX-JOCKEY. ‘book stack’ by Flickr user: ginnerobot. ‘cellular automata’ images by Flickr user: Anthony Mattox. ‘Knowledge lives here’ by Flickr user: PysProblem. ‘Lampe steampunk armillaire’ by Flickr user: ToNToN CoPT. ‘Rise of the digital information age’ infographic from The Washington Post. 'I hate technology' by Flickr user: quinn.anya. 'Untitled' by Flickr user: naught_facility. ‘il futuro del mondo’ by Flickr user: Antonio_Trogu. ‘venn’ by Flickr user: Dave Pattern. 'Isabelle' by Flickr user: Max Braun. 'iWatch' by Flickr user: Brett Jordan. 'approach of the apocalypse' by Flickr user: wildpianist. ‘Day 174: Amazing Push-Button Shushing Action!’ by Flickr user: Laura Taylor. ‘Keep Calm and Turn It Off and On Again’ by Flickr user: Adam Bowie. ‘Putting The Puzzle Together’ by Flickr user: kenteegardin. ‘Steampunk gear, looking’ by Flickr user: Curious Expeditions. '311/365: Cargando las pilas' by Flickr user: anieto2k. 'Visions of transhumanism' by Flickr user: vipez. 'the future soon' by Flickr user: krupp. ‘…hello?’ by Flickr user: Solo. 'Book Worm Bot' by Flickr user: Jenn and Tony Bot.
  18. 18. Bibliography Dery, M. (2013) “Futureshock” proves that the future really is unevenly distributed. io9 [Online] Available from: http://io9.com/5982864/futureshock-proves-that-the-future-really- is-unevenly-distributed [Accessed 3 June 2013] Enis, M. (2013) Cracking the Code: Librarians Acquiring Essential Coding Skills. The digital shift [Online] Available from: http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2013/03/software/cracking-the-code/ [Accessed 6 April 2013] Floridi, L. (2007) A Look into the Future Impact of ICT on Our Lives. The information society: an international journal, 23 (1). Gleick, J. (2011) The information: a history, a theory, a flood. London: Fourth Estate. Goddard, L. (2003) “The integrated librarian: IT in the systems office.” Library hi-tech, 21 (3). Greenfield, A. (2006) Everyware: the dawning age of ubiquitous computing. Berkeley: New Riders. Jastram, I. (2012) Libraries, IT departments, and complex relationships. Pegasus librarian [Online] Available from: http://pegasuslibrarian.com/2012/03/libraries-it-departments-and- complex-relationships.html [Accessed 26 January 2013] Mathews, J. M., & Pardue, H. (2009) The Presence of IT Skill Sets in Librarian Position Announcements. College & research libraries, 70 (3). McLuhan, M. (1965) Understanding media: the extensions of man. New York: McGraw-Hill. Melchionda, M. G. (2007) Librarians in the age of the internet: their attitudes and roles: A literature review. New library world, 108 (3). Rogers, J. (2013) Considering the librarian tech skills gap. Attempting elegance [Online] Available from: http://www.attemptingelegance.com/?p=1958 [Accessed 6 April 2013] Snow, C. P. (1993) The two cultures and the scientific revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Yelton, A. (2012) Why should librarians learn Python? (a better answer). Andromeda Yelton: across divided networks [Online]. Available from: http://andromedayelton.com/blog/2012/08/28/why- should-librarians-learn-python-a-better-answer/ [Accessed 6 April 2013] Weinberger, D. (2011) Too big to know: rethinking knowledge now that the facts aren't the facts, experts are everywhere, and the smartest person in the room is the room. New York: Basic Books.

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