New Librarians: This is your time


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A stripped down version of a presentation I gave to students in Latvia - it's a fantastic time to be shaping the profession of librarianship, so this slide-deck is about the world and the way it's changing, trends for the future, and how to make the most of being a librarian.

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  • You already have access to some, we’ll give you access to more – then guide you whereever YOU want to goIt used to be about collections. These were static. Now it’s about programmes and services and access
  • You already have access to some, we’ll give you access to more – then guide you whereever YOU want to goIt used to be about collections. These were static. Now it’s about programmes and services and access
  • New Librarians: This is your time

    1. Ned Potter @theREALwikimanNew librarians:…This is your Time!
    2. Talk for the University ofLatvia’s Informationscience studentsApril 2012
    3. librarian?
    4. physically I‟m here Harry Fairhurst Building, University of York Library
    5. but I‟m virtually everywhere I am stronger (and more useful) because I am connected
    6. When this cameout, the world‟spopulation wasless than halfwas it is now.
    7. Now every day 350,000 babies are born - into an…
    8. New technology has neverbeen so focussed on accessto and use of information
    9. (In development terms, wethink we’ve gone from here…to here) (When actually we’re still here…)
    10. Take a look at
    11. 4 billion
    12. We used to be scared ofGoogle, dismissive of it- then weaccepted its value but said „but youstill need libraries!‟But really we should be confident inour own value, and just tell peoplehow we can help them use Googlebetter.
    13. Because we live in a world ofINFORMATIONOVERLOAD
    14. If we’re to generate more unique information this yearwe Than in the previous 5000 YEARS put together
    15. Then now more than EVER the world needs information professionals to sort, assess,collate and present information
    16. For a lot of people, trying to get good information off the net is like trying to drink from a waterfall
    17. information professionals have never been so vital
    19. is as bad as too little
    20. Your job is to help people with either.
    21. Librarians are no longerthe gatekeepersof information
    22. The gates are wide open.Our job is to light the path for people oncethey‟re through.
    23. We used tobe theinformationvault
    24. We are no longerdefined or limited byour library buildings
    25. The embedded librarian.(Independent, roving, orjust online.)
    26. People want tochoose their owntools – libraries willposition themselveswithin thetechnologicallandscape
    28. Programmes notcollections, services notcontentIt used to be just aboutinformation, now it’s aboutleverage: turning informationinto knowledge
    29. Most ofall, though, wewill be theguide
    30. Most ofall, though, wewill be theguide(We don’t own the mountains; wejust take people where they needto go because we’re experts in theterrain of the informationlandscape.)
    31. And we still have, you know, books, too.
    32. We’re changing to suit people.But it isn’t easy – it’shard to attract newdemographics whilstretaining the old ones.
    33. In 2010 a UK survey askedWhat would mostencourage you to visitthe library more?
    34. In 2010 a UK survey askedWhat would mostencourage you to visitthe library more?The winner, with 32% 
    35. In 2010 a UK survey askedWhat would mostencourage not you tovisit the library more?
    36. In 2010 a UK survey askedWhat would mostencourage not you tovisit the library more?The winner, with 23% 
    37. MODERN LIBRARIANSHIP IS AWESOMEAlmost whatever you like to do, you can tie this in withlibrarianship.Helping people, inspiring people, design, socialmedia, writing, community, speaking, research, –andanything else you can think of.Pursue your passion via the information profession.
    38. LIBRARIANSHIP IS ALL ABOUT PEOPLE“...people, people, people, you wouldn‟t believe theamount of interviewees who sit before me talking aboutbooks and procedures who never mentionpeople, interaction or users/patrons once. Its a biggiveaway to me that they don‟t understand whatlibrarianship is about and aren‟t right for the profession.” –Andy Priestner, University of Cambridge
    39. IT IS ALL ABOUT TECHNOLOGY“Libraries should wake up to technology” – David CameronGuess what Dave, WE ALREADY DID.
    40. THE COMPETITION IS TOUGHMore people qualify in librarianship each year than retire.
    41. YOU NEED TO BE READY TO FIGHT“There is no such thing as abstaining from libraryadvocacy. You are either doing it, or ur doin it wrong.”Me 
    42. YOU HAVE TO BE OKAY WITH CHANGE“The mission is static. The implementation is dynamic.” –Andy Woodworth“All bets are OFF.” – Phil Bradley
    43. YOU NEED TO NETWORK“It‟s not about exploiting who you know, or shamelessself-promotion, or accumulating and dispensing asmany business cards as possible. It‟s about sharingadvice and support. And that support can be as smallan act as smiling and listening intently to a nervousspeaker. Or leaving a comment on a blog post.” –Adrienne Cooper
    44. THERE ISN’T A CAREER LADDERIt‟s more like a climbing wall.
    45. JOIN A PROFESSIONAL BODYIf you join LLA, SLA-Europe, IFLA, the ALA or any otherlibrary association, you‟ll be plugged in to theprofession.
    46. YOU NEED TO GET ON TWITTERTwitter is the one social network to rule them all –because it carries links to the best content on all therest of them. All the arguments you‟ve ever heardagainst Twitter can be rebuffed with the phrase: “It‟s aconversation.”(More on this here.)
    47. START A BLOGYour blog is your platform, your outlet, your chance todocument your views for the world to discover. Amazing thingscan come from having a blog!
    48. •Simon Barron’s list of Librarians using Twitter (well):•New to Twitter? Here’s what you do:
    49. . New Professionals chapter (follow itschair, @daceudre, on Twitter for more)
    50. SLA’s First Five Years resources
    51.’s New Professionals Special Interest Group
    52. ALA’s New Members Round Table
    53. Try these for some New Professional stuff:• •• •• •• •
    54. Over 150 information professionals from around theworld have documented their career paths at
    55. Follow thousands of librarians to see what they really getup to in an average day in the life of a 21st century infopro, at
    56. A dedicated global network for New Professionals, withforums, downloadable resources, competitions, and face-to-face meetups:
    57. ONE LASTPiece of advice
    58. ANYTHING!There are so many tools freely available, the filter betweenidea and reality is almost non-existent. As soon as you think ofsomething good, make it happen.
    61. Timepiece: LP: Baby: TEXTURES Computer: Highway: Web 2 icons: NY times building: ADAPTED FROM 18th century pic: 5: Waterfall: CC IMAGES BY Broken shelves: Empty shelves: Help: ERVIN BARTIS Compass: Lock: Path: Vault: Rocket: Globe: Seatle Library: PRESENTATION IS Computer hands: Latop: UNDER CC Google: LICENCE Google in a box: Coffee: Vancouver: Spain: Berlin: Seattle: ALL Icons via VIA Stockholm: Vancouver interior: All photographs are via creative commons