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To Download a copy of Nancy Gershenfeld's powerpoint, click here.

  1. 1. What the L? Challenges and Opportunities for the Special Librarian Nancy Gershenfeld Senior Lecturer ORSLA Annual Meeting October 20, 2007
  2. 2. Titles My Mother Couldn’t Explain <ul><li>FIND/SVP (1979-1983) </li></ul><ul><li>Computer Search Specialist </li></ul><ul><li>Online Search Specialist </li></ul><ul><li>Online Services Coordinator </li></ul><ul><li>Online Training Coordinator </li></ul>Nancy Gershenfeld ORSLA Annual Meeting 10/20/2007
  3. 3. Titles AND Organizations <ul><li>Betts, Patterson & Mines Database Management Center (1983-1988) </li></ul><ul><li>Search and Retrieval Analyst </li></ul><ul><li>Database Administrator </li></ul><ul><li>Manager, Database Administration </li></ul><ul><li>Baggaley and Associates (1989) </li></ul><ul><li>Information Management Consultant </li></ul>Nancy Gershenfeld ORSLA Annual Meeting 10/20/2007
  4. 4. Finally, the “L” Title, but… <ul><li>Microsoft Corporation (1990-2000) </li></ul><ul><li>Technical Services Librarian </li></ul><ul><li>Automated Systems Librarian </li></ul><ul><li>User Services Manager </li></ul><ul><li>Library Operations Manager </li></ul><ul><li>Business Operations Manager </li></ul>Nancy Gershenfeld ORSLA Annual Meeting 10/20/2007
  5. 5. THE IMAGE THING <ul><li>Librarians in Movies </li></ul><ul><li>http://emp.byui.edu/RAISHM/films/introduction.html </li></ul><ul><li>The Hollywood Librarian </li></ul><ul><li>http://hollywoodlibrarian.com/ </li></ul>
  6. 6. Our Special Library Role Models View library_mistress' map Taken in (See more photos here ) &quot;Desk set&quot; is a wonderful film from 1957, featuring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. Bunny Watson (Hepburn) is as a reference librarian managing the research department of a broadcasting company Desk set&quot; is a wonderful film from 1957, featuring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. Bunny Watson (Hepburn) is as a reference librarian managing the research department of a broadcasting company; Richard Sumner (Tracy) wants to replace her and her colleagues by a computer. Librarian-turned-adventurer Flynn Carsen (Wyle) endeavors to find King Solomon's mines.
  7. 7. Or…You Can Run Away and Joined the Circus!
  8. 8. WHAT MAKES US “SPECIAL”? <ul><li>Key Characteristics and Qualities </li></ul>
  9. 9. Specific Focus <ul><li>Specific information function related to the goal of a larger organization </li></ul><ul><li>Focused on well-defined user population or discipline </li></ul><ul><li>Services are tailored to the users and the organization </li></ul><ul><li>Information not just collections </li></ul>Nancy Gershenfeld ORSLA Annual Meeting 10/20/2007
  10. 10. Unique Aspects <ul><li>Unique role relative to others in the organization </li></ul><ul><li>Unique location (physical and in organizational structure) </li></ul><ul><li>Exist because sponsoring organization sees the need </li></ul><ul><li>Subject / discipline / industry specialization </li></ul>Nancy Gershenfeld ORSLA Annual Meeting 10/20/2007
  11. 11. Busting Perceptions <ul><li>Innovative </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible </li></ul><ul><li>Always ready to break “the rules” </li></ul><ul><li>May change mission, direction or reporting structure </li></ul><ul><li>Volatile to the organization, industry </li></ul><ul><li>Cooperative with competitors and other kinds of libraries </li></ul>Nancy Gershenfeld ORSLA Annual Meeting 10/20/2007
  12. 12. We Won’t Sit Still <ul><li>Change careers more often </li></ul><ul><li>Learn specialties on the job </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunistic </li></ul><ul><li>Embrace change </li></ul><ul><li>Identify with the organization </li></ul><ul><li>Take on responsibilities outside of the library </li></ul><ul><li>Fewer examples of sensible shoes! </li></ul>Nancy Gershenfeld ORSLA Annual Meeting 10/20/2007
  13. 14. CHALLENGES
  14. 15. Threats to Existence <ul><li>Overhead </li></ul><ul><li>Luxury, not necessity </li></ul><ul><li>Not critical to the organization </li></ul><ul><li>No need for “a collection” </li></ul><ul><li>No need for a facility </li></ul><ul><li>It’s all online </li></ul>Nancy Gershenfeld ORSLA Annual Meeting 10/20/2007
  15. 16. OPPORTUNITIES
  16. 17. Be Core to be Valued <ul><li>Critical to the organization </li></ul><ul><li>Contribute directly to the success of the organization’s goal </li></ul><ul><li>Connecting the user to the information </li></ul><ul><li>Content, not collections </li></ul><ul><li>Access and use, not format </li></ul><ul><li>It can be all online, but do not happen automatically </li></ul>Nancy Gershenfeld ORSLA Annual Meeting 10/20/2007
  17. 18. I Can Help <ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Information analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Social Networks </li></ul><ul><li>Web architecture and design </li></ul><ul><li>Information tools design and integration </li></ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul><ul><li>Database architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Taxonomy and Metadata </li></ul><ul><li>Content licensing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Negotiation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IP compliance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Project Management </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Commons </li></ul>Nancy Gershenfeld ORSLA Annual Meeting 10/20/2007
  18. 19. Environments <ul><li>Personalized </li></ul><ul><li>Embedded </li></ul><ul><li>24 x 7 worldwide </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile </li></ul><ul><li>http://stephenslighthouse.sirsi.com/ </li></ul>Nancy Gershenfeld ORSLA Annual Meeting 10/20/2007
  19. 20. Evolve or Die Nancy Gershenfeld ORSLA Annual Meeting 10/20/2007
  20. 21. Big Questions <ul><li>What is our greatest threat? What do we fear most? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the current perception of libraries and librarians, both in general and in the less traditional environments? </li></ul><ul><li>Where are the greatest opportunities? </li></ul><ul><li>What do we need to stay viable? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we stay balanced? </li></ul>Nancy Gershenfeld ORSLA Annual Meeting 10/20/2007
  21. 22. Most Importantly… <ul><li>Who will play us in the next major library movie? </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>http://projects.washington.edu/ngersh/ </li></ul>Nancy Gershenfeld ORSLA Annual Meeting 10/20/2007

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