I have been asked by a few people why I decided to create a new blog on librarianship, library science, and technology. Why now when there are so many similar blogs out there? And what do I have to add to the conversation?
Many of the blogs I see in my field predict the imminent death of libraries, books, and anything else related to a traditional sense of librarianship. Indeed, there have been voices in the field that have made these predictions throughout my 15 year+ career as a librarian. First it was the Internet, then Google and Wikipedia, and now it’s e-books and mass digitization and the next-great-gadget setting their sites on the destruction of print media and librarianship as the guardians and archivists of all things book. Yet circulation numbers are up from year to year, the publishing industry is still alive and kicking (for the moment – more on that in subsequent posts), and books still have many more users worldwide than any other technology. Books may be transformed by technology, but they will be with us for a long time in the future.
On the other hand, librarians and librarianship must change and adapt with changing times. I would argue that as a profession, we have done a pretty decent job of adapting and reinventing ourselves. Librarianship has kept pace as civilization moved from handwritten manuscripts to typeset books and to microforms and multimedia to our present digital state, and I anticipate that it will keep up as technology and information science progresses. Indeed, I see this as our responsibility as librarians and information professionals to advance the field by learning new technology and always looking for ways to improve our profession.
Librarianship is an evolving field and, together with the cognate disciplines of information science and technology, it possesses the tools to transform people’s lives through providing better and smarter information resources and the education necessary to use them in ethical and productive ways. What we do is essential to society and we must strive to enhance the profession rather than destroy it or replace it with something else. This is why I created this blog: to celebrate librarianship, together with information science and technology, and to add a voice to the profession that sees the value in what we do and hope for improvement and evolution of the field in the future.