Alchemical Thoughts

Another post on keeping up for librarians

Posted on: July 12, 2007

The topic of librarians keeping up with the professional literature as well as just keeping informed in general is something I have given thought a few times (like here, here, and here). Do I have a lot of spare time? Oh hell no. But I try to make the time because I see the issue as something that is part of my professional responsibility, pure and simple. I would not be a good librarian if I did not do it. I would not be a good teacher if I did not keep up with things related to education and pedagogy. Emily, at Library Revolution, has a post on "Librarians Keeping Up and Making Time."

Some of the things she says I have said in one form or another. The issue of time I would take with a grain of salt. Some passionate people tend to forget that when other say they lack time, they really lack time. Don't believe me? Come take over my job for a couple of weeks during the busy BI season, to use myself as an example. And before anyone says anything about how to streamline, I already have it down to a science. I am not saying her points about making time are not valid. I am simply saying one should not simply put others down on that basis. They need to be educated; they don't need to be beaten down. Then again, in my case, I do make the time, even if it means at times my supervisors get suspicious. You have to keep them on their toes.

Which leads me to the point about supervisors and those who forward articles to others mentioned in the post and in comments over there. Just because you forward articles, it does not follow they are relevant to me. If there is something I find extremely irritating is someone forwarding me some tangentially relevant article and filling my inbox. It has about the same effect as spam, and it will suffer the same fate, namely, deletion. If you are sharing with your colleagues, and I am the first to say you should share the knowledge, be selective about it. Too much of it is as bad as none at all.

At any rate, I stopped at Emily's blog to look at other posts, and there are some interesting things there. I will be adding her to my aggregator.

A hat tip to the Librarian in Black.

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2 Responses to "Another post on keeping up for librarians"

Thanks so much for reading! :)I'm not trying to put down anyone who really doesn't have time to keep up as much as they should… who does? The folks I'm unhappy with are the legions of librarians who don't keep up at all, and then blame it on not having time. And there are many of this breed, Come on, folks – show a little effort, here! Because you are right about it being our professional responsibility plain and simple. Not everyone seems to agree.

Oh gosh, those that actively choose not to keep up should be weeded out of our profession, pure and simple. And yes, it is a matter of choosing not to keep up, a willingness not to look, so to speak. In a society like ours where information and knowledge are so important, I don't think librarians can afford not to keep up. And given so many ways to keep up these days, at least a couple of feeds on an aggregator. I should stop while I am ahead. And by the way, in case anyone out there thinks I have it for "the old folks" (previous generations or what have you), this has nothing to do with age. I know "older" folks (for me those before Gen X) who are a lot more savvy than some of the "kids" out there. Thanks for stopping by Emily. Best, and keep on blogging.

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