Sunday, May 2, 2010

To Be A Librarian Or Not To Be a Librarian...

Today walking around the community, I ran into one of my kids from storytime at the library. Once she got over the confusion of seeing me outside of the library, (most of the kids think I have a bed somewhere in the back with the overflow books,) she told her parents all about my job at the library. "You're a librarian, but you teach books at art time, so you're a teacher too! And you dress like a princess."

The whole conversation got me to thinking: what is the role of the modern librarian? What with all the social media and blossoming e-book market, there's been a lot of talk among my colleagues about how the library will change in the next decade. Will the librarian become more of a guide to technology than a purveyor of books? Already more of the space in the library is dedicated to computers and time is directed towards e-book resources and databases. I've heard the argument that with all the new technology, librarians will become obsolete. Honestly, I think that it will simply change the role of the librarian. Think about what happens when you google the word bugs. The results are probably in the millions, right? I think the challenge of librarians will be to teach how to filter this information, how to use databases and how to discern what internet resources are reliable. We will become the guides of the internet information realm. And although this will be a drastic rewrite of the role of the library, it could still play an important role in the community. But if not, I could always give princess lessons, as I am apparently an expert.

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