David Lankes

“New Librarianship”

I just started a conversation with David Lankes and the rest of the nationwide iLead USA David Lankesteam, on the “New Librarianship.”  What? Couldn’t we have said that 2,000 years ago or at least last century, when we started talking about 21st Century Librarianship, now over 13 years old?? Of course we could have. But did we?

What is New Librarianship? David may say, read the book. But I would say, it is about figuring out what it is that makes us a librarian and using that in meaningful ways to connect with communities, to connect with conversations, to connect the dots and help make knowledge accessible to all. The whole point is to raise consciousness, human awareness, that there is something else out there that’s bigger than oneself. There are ideas, there are concepts, there are ideologies that unless explored remain in a box.

For libraries, it’s not about the box or the book any more. Sure we need a box, a building, to hold it all together. Sure we need books, but they can be digital, print, or even self-published. Especially self-published.

It’s about knowledge. Knowledge creation, knowledge discovery, knowledge implementation, knowledge awareness, knowledge dissemination, knowledge destruction even. It’s about taking our brains out and using them to become more useable to society in general and to ourselves in specific.

In a literate society, we need champions of knowledge and defenders of the freedom to use it. We need librarians that can think, that can feel, that can create, that can innovate. In an information economy I contend that librarians are more useful than ever before.

What is this New Librarianship? It’s something I am excited to be a part of.

Published by

Colleen Eggett

Colleen Eggett is the Library Resources Program Manager for the Utah State Library in Salt Lake City UT.