So there are a lot of exciting things happening right now in my life and yet at the same time I feel as if my thoughts are scattered in every direction. One of the new big things in my life is that come the end of January / beginning of February I will be starting a new adventure as a first time mommy. Big right?! Well before I go into full time mommy/librarian mode, I really want to finish up my certification. Luckily I will be able to do this in September when I am taking a class all about technology and libraries in the digital age.
This is something big to look at because the role of libraries and librarians is forever evolving in the digital age. What was important when I was a kid may not be as important today or in five years. These are all things we have to think about in the evolving role of librarians and libraries. It is very easy to argue the need for more space and more computers within the library to accommodate the growing population needs, but you also have to think about what questions may arise with the increasing number of technology advancements being made every day.
Change is never easy and it doesn’t happen over night. Yes there are a few things you can begin to incorporate within your library without breaking the bank. You can advertise to the public of the availability of one-on-one appointments where a staff member works with them individually on questions they have. This is a great way to connect with community members who may be unsure of how to use e-mail, load e-books to their e-reader, learning Facebook to stay in contact with friends and family all over the world, etc. It is possible by starting small it will increase the awareness of what the library has to offer and what it can offer in the future with more funding, increased number of devices available for public use, and encouraging the continuing education of staff members.
Some people think because I am young, that technology comes easily to me. This is not always the case. There have been plenty of times I have sat there and glared at something because I was frustrated and couldn’t easily figure out the solution to my problem. It is only because I play around until I figure out the problem, consult the user manual, and help page on the given items website that I am able to solve the problem in front of me.
As I said my thoughts right now are very scattered and hopefully with the help of making a lot of lists and putting pen to paper theoretically, I can begin to feel organized again.
What are your thoughts of libraries role in the digital era?
I apologize to everyone for my lack of blogging lately, I had a serious case of writer’s block and an extreme lack of creativity. This week I attended a Tech Unconference with other librarians from around the state. The very fact that this was an “unconference” and not a normal conference was a great new experience for me. So you may be reading this going what is an “unconference”? It is similar to a conference, the only difference is we were able to vote on the topics we wished to discuss. The part that was great about this is there was not a single person or a panel of people at the front of the room talking to everyone. Instead we gathered around as a group and discussed things we do in our library and how we have tackled problems. To be able to discuss what is going on in your library and to get inspiration for programs with others, who are not a part of your staff is a great experience.
Here’s a little insight into what it means to be a librarian, we don’t want to reinvent the wheel fifty million times. We LOVE to share ideas with others and share resources with each other. Yesterday I found a great article on Pintrest, another library had shared about things your librarian does that you may not be aware they do. The title of the article is “5 Things That People Don’t Realize Their Librarians Do”. I recommend looking up this article, it explains what it means to be a librarian. I agree with this article in so many ways. People think because I am a part of the younger generation that I intuitively know all about technology. Yes I’m not yet 30, I have another year to go, but that does not mean all of technology is intuitive to me. The only reason I am able to troubleshoot things is because I had a boss who believed in me and said I want you to learn this. Honestly it’s as simple as that.
When I first started college, I thought I wanted to be a teacher and I even took a few education classes. Once I decided that was not for me, I switched my focus to business classes but felt that was not for me either. It wasn’t until I was a junior that I found my niche in English. As I was going through the journey of finding where my interests lie, I had been working in the college library for two years. My Marms will joke the best thing about my college education is that I found a job I can be passionate about. I honestly think it’s because I was surrounded by people who were willing to teach me new skills and allowed me to take charge on projects.
Don’t worry I will get back to writing about different programs I use on a daily basis at work and in my personal life. I will even write a blog post about Pintrest another day.
P.S. How great is that Steampunk Librarian picture?
So I was going to write a post about collection development and how we decide what to add to the library collection, until I realized how uninspired I was to talk about it today. So I’ll talk about that another day. My personal life lately has been absolutely crazy, which is possibly why I was feeling a case of writers block. So bear with me as I try to free myself from my creative block.
On Sunday I was driving around with two of my best friends from high school, its been over ten years since we have done anything like this, and we talked about books we read and how we remember the old card catalogs. One friend shared a story with me about some kids on her bus who were talking about something and she overhead one of them say “just Google it”. As I was listening to her tell the story and how she suggested to the kids they go to the library the next day to find a book to answer their question, it made me think of when we were children and our lack of Google and technology at our fingertips. I pondered this throughout the day as we drove around going from shop to shop, using our phones for GPS instead of a physical map. On our way to one store the GPS misdirected us and it struck me to go through my “passport” to see if there was anything for directions or landmarks to help us find our way. Thankfully there was and we were quickly able to locate the shop within a few minutes.
To my amusement, across the street from the store was the local library. Throughout our drive we either saw signs for the local library or drove past the library which greatly amused me. All in all the day was a lot of fun and it was great to spend some time with friends who I do not get to see very often. Lets hope I can overcome my writer’s block soon.
P.S. It might come as a shock to some people but librarians don’t actually live at the library. Try to let others down gently if you choose to share this surprising fact.