The UK newspaper Guardian occasionally have articles on academic libraries. Normally they’re not too favourable, but last week there was a really interesting article about how academic libraries are undergoing a quiet revolution.
The article talks about how the information environment is changing and with that the role of the academic librarian must adapt from one of a keeper of information to one of a marketer of services and teacher/trainer to help students (and academics) use the right services with the appropriate tools and techniques to get the best information.
The article features insights from academic librarians in the UK and gives examples of the sorts of activities and skills required for an academic librarian today. A lot of the article really resonates with me – I’ve always been a strong believer in improving communication and marketing services (I even plan to complete my MSc dissertation on this topic), and agree that even in the short space of time I’ve worked in UK University libraries the climate has changed. Particular interesting quotes from the article for me include:
people recruited to work in them have to be willing to embrace new technologies and customer service
tuition in research skills and how to use online library services is crucial
[f]lexibility and willingness to adapt to new ideas is key
It’s really worth a read for those already working in the profession, those considering entering it, and those who wonder what life as an academic librarian is really like!