Ironic Iconic

So now that we’re already into 2013, does it mean that this article is already obsolete?

2012 top ten trends in academic libraries.

All kidding aside, I can see some of these trends at work in my library.  Digital preservation and staffing are just two of the issues that I have discussed with my supervisor this week alone.  

And communicating value, the first item on the ACRL list, well, this is almost always an issue- I honestly don’t know if it could be considered a trend.  We have to engage ALL of our stakeholders and potential stakeholders.  Just ask our friends the public libraries about the struggle to let people know their value.

But as much as librarians know that we are on the forefront of technology, it has yet to percolate into the culture at large. While we are trying so hard to communicate value, we should also try to communicate who librarians are today and our role in information discovery in the information age.  This year I have already informed a surprised person that as a librarian, I don’t ever have time to sit around and read books.  Really? This conversation happens at least once or twice a month.

On good days, it’s almost gratifying.  Look how many people I’ve been able to educate!  I’m a one-woman librarian illumination machine, out to change the unsuspecting public one lecture at a time. I’m not really that high-minded (or boring).  It’s just that I work very hard every day, not only with my job duties, but also with keeping up with trends and learning new technologies.  It irks me to think that some random stranger thinks I sit on my duff reading all day.  So on bad days, I do below:

I have lately come to think that librarians will never overcome the glasses and bun stereotype.  It’s too iconic, too embedded in the societal subconscious.  Better then to have fun with it.  If you can’t win, you can at least have fun messing with people’s minds.

Happy New Year!


About Ellie Kohler

I'm the Access and Learning Services Librarian at Rockhurst University, and was a founding member of the ILL Special Interest Group. My specialties include interlibrary loan, instruction, reference, circulation, reserves, and wrangling 40 (or so) student assistants. I continue to defy the librarian stereotype by keeping a cat-free household.
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