Pushing the borders of the profession

March 18, 2007 at 1:12 pm

I had the opportunity to meet some of the next generation of students graduating from the Information Studies, Library Science, and Archives programs at the University of Toronto this week. The Faculty of Information Studies held its first job fair, and I attended in order to recruit a summer student.

I was surprised at how the different streams interpreted the job I offered. Students who were interested in the job were able to present some very good reasons why the project I was offering was “obviously” an archives, technology or library project, and how they presented a unique combination of skills which would fit my needs. It’s this creativity and ability to take the qualifications beyond the “natural” definition of “librarian”, “archivist” or “systems specialist” which will help these new graduates as they step into the job market.

We “established” librarians have been reinterpreting our place, too.  One stream of  Libraries Beyond Borders II is devoted to how librarianship and libraries are metamorphosizing – expanding outside of physical place, going beyond the classic “gatekeeper” role, and rethinking how we work with our clients.  How are *you* changing the profession?  How can you rethink, or repackage your skills, to give yourself new opportunities?  Is there a danger than in rushing forward to meet new challenges, we abandon clients with “old” needs? Can we do both?

What new skills are needed by the next generation of information professionals? What aspects of curriculum should be retired to allow students to explore information innovations such as Web 2.0? Are cataloguing and reference dead skills, or do we need to reinterpret the old skillset and sell them anew?

Wendy Reynolds, Information Manager, Ontario Securities Commission.

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Entry filed under: program.

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Northeast Regional Law Libraries Meeting

October 17-20, 2007
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Main website: librarieswithoutborders.net

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