Last week David Lankes hosted a webinar for New Zealand librarians who had registered for The Atlas of New Librarianship discussion groups. David’s presentation contained so many gems that it’s going to take me a long while to unpack, polish and share them with others. But I am working on it; and here is the first take-away.
We don’t need a building to define what we do. We define what the building is for.
One of the fundamental distinctions I think David made was to differentiate libraries from librarians. It’s not something that I’ve consciously thought about prior to picking up The Atlas of New Librarianship and it definitely resonated with me. For example should the Strengthening the Profession LIANZA project be about #brandlibraries or #brandlibrarians? Does it matter? Are they different? I think they are. To me #brandlibraries is about the building and #brandlibrarians defines what the building is for. What do you think?
The distinction between libraries and librarians was also illustrated by the following: What if the future of libraries is absolutely dismal and on the verge of extinction; and the future of librarians is bright and flourishing? Could they be? How would you feel if this were true? What would librarians be doing in this future? How would you feel if the reverse were true?
The Atlas of New Librarianship delves into why we do what we do, and it certainly makes me consider the profession in new and exciting ways.