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Rebranding the Librarian: A Project of the ALA Emerging Leaders Program

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Rebranding the Librarian: A Project of the ALA Emerging Leaders Program

  1. 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. 2. ALA Emerging Leaders Program Leadership Training Project Selection Virtual Work Groups Poster Session November 10, 2007 HLA Annual Conference
  3. 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 November 10, 2007 HLA Annual Conference
  4. 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 November 10, 2007 HLA Annual Conference
  5. 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 November 10, 2007 HLA Annual Conference
  6. 6. At the Midwinter Meeting A day long leadership training with handful of different speakers A working lunch where our team made a workplan for our project Evening reception for networking with ELs and ALA folks November 10, 2007 HLA Annual Conference
  7. 7. At the ALA Annual Conference Half day of leadership training Working lunch to set up posters Poster session with the findings of our survey November 10, 2007 HLA Annual Conference
  8. 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 November 10, 2007 HLA Annual Conference
  9. 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 November 10, 2007 HLA Annual Conference
  10. 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 November 10, 2007 HLA Annual Conference
  11. 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 backgrounds Lack of funding for marketing campaigns November 10, 2007 HLA Annual Conference
  12. 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__” November 10, 2007 HLA Annual Conference
  13. 13. Results Over 3400 responses 88.3% of respondents were librarians Mostly academic (39.9%) and public (29.1%) librarians November 10, 2007 HLA Annual Conference
  14. 14. Respondent Demographics 30% 25% 20% 15% Ages of respondents 10% 5% 0% 18-25 26-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 66+ November 10, 2007 HLA Annual Conference
  15. 15. Respondents’ perceptions of librarians 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Re Te Te Bo Pr og ch ac se ok he ra arc Ex Ex m r pe h pe Pla Ex rt rt nn pe rt er November 10, 2007 HLA Annual Conference
  16. 16. How respondents ranked others’ perceptions of librarians 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Bo Pr Te Te Re og ac ch ok se ra he ar Ex Ex m ch r pe pe Pl Ex rt rt an pe ne rt r November 10, 2007 HLA Annual Conference
  17. 17. Librarians: 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% Agree 0% Neutral Disagree Te Ex Cu Cu Ex ac ce pe tti tti h n n l rt in ge ge tec a tc cu dg dg h om st e-p e-t s pu ec er u b ter v h HLA Annual Conference s November 10, 2007
  18. 18. Librarians: 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% Agree 0% Neutral Disagree We Hig Ne Ne ed ed ar hly ca to ne ed rd w mr uc iga im kt at e ag ns be d e tte r November 10, 2007 HLA Annual Conference
  19. 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) November 10, 2007 HLA Annual Conference
  20. 20. Summary & Recommendations The library 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 “ultimate human search engine” and escape the single-focused stereotype of “book worm”. . . November 10, 2007 HLA Annual Conference
  21. 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 "Info-naut." November 10, 2007 HLA Annual Conference
  22. 22. Recommendation 2 Rethink the library as a physical location. Bring the services librarians provide "out of the stacks" and into the community. Create a "third space" that showcases library services that are integrated into the physical and virtual community. Librarians "taking to the streets" of communities and cyber-space. November 10, 2007 HLA Annual Conference
  23. 23. Recommendation 3 Network beyond the librarian profession and "infiltrate" 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. November 10, 2007 HLA Annual Conference
  24. 24. Our Project Team November 10, 2007 HLA Annual Conference
  25. 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 November 10, 2007 HLA Annual Conference
  26. 26. Any Questions?? Thank you for attending our session! November 10, 2007 HLA Annual Conference

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