Who, Why & How We Serve: The Evolution of Collaborative Librarianship through Social Media


Yesterday I repeated my presentation from MLGSCA last month. I think I was a lot more dynamic the first time, but the second time the slides are less gory and I’ve added a model I had to skip over before due to lack of time. We videotaped it, so that is coming, and I hope to get the audio spliced out to add to the Slideshare version (below).

Meanwhile, just a few very terse notes on what I wanted to say.

For the presentation in Cerritos, I had been asked to talk about Web 2.0, health librarians and the communities we serve. When I started to work that up I agonized over it and went through several complete overhauls of how I wanted to say this. (You should all be grateful I didn’t go through with the Gilbert and Sullivan parody, singing “You too can be a guide to new technology!” to the tune of Sir Joseph Porter’s Song “When I Was a Lad / You too can be a ruler of the Queen’s Navee” from HMS Pinafore. Really. Grateful.)

I was having trouble framing it, but I had this strong gut sense that it was critical to place these ideas in a historical context. The point of the title is that I believe what librarians have done and are doing has, at bedrock, not changed; the same core essential functions we have always done are still happening. What has changed are the objects of our attention, and those have changed cumulatively. We add on — we don’t stop paying attention to one type of item, we just add more types of items to those we give our attention.

Our goal as librarians has ALWAYS been to get information to the person who needs it to support their learning, growth, life activities, and decisions. Traditionally, as librarians have had the opportunity to unlock the chains that restrain information flow, we have grabbed the keys, turned the lock, and thrown the keys away. Moving into social media is doing the same — putting ourselves and the information where the people are, to the best of our ability. The slides below try to tell that story, at least a small slice of it.

One response to “Who, Why & How We Serve: The Evolution of Collaborative Librarianship through Social Media

  1. Pingback: FIlling in the Blanks — RWJF Annual Report | Health, Science, and Libraries

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