I believe....

May 22 2009 Published by under Admin, librarians

I believe in libraries and librarians.
I think it was Dana Roth who posted this quote to a listserv:

"To ask why we need libraries at all, when there is so much information available elsewhere, is about as sensible as asking if roadmaps are necessary now that there are so very many roads." ~Jon Bing, Professor of IT Law, Univ. of Oslo

I hear this all the time - why do we need libraries? why do we need librarians? If it weren't for accreditation, we would get rid of this place... Young kids today, they can find whatever they need on the web. I can find it myself - why just the other day, well, it took me 5 hours but I found it, not sure why the same link didn't work at home...
I believe in libraries - collections of print and electronic materials, discovery tools, librarians, and their communities.
I believe in librarians, with MLS degrees, and not just to manage licenses and acquire rights, but in all aspects of connecting people to information.

  • School library media specialists - trained, degreed, and certified matter.(see summary of decades of research).Schools with strong library programs score 10-20% better on tests. Reading scores go up when school library media specialists teach information literacy, and it's integrated into the curriculum...
  • Public libraries make egov possible, without additional funding or training.
  • Public libraries build community by offering common areas, supporting job training, supporting lifelong learning, supporting increased literacy through leisure reading.
  • Corporate libraries save the organization time, money, and provide a great return on investment
  • Clinical librarians go on rounds, providing information when needed. They are part of the team to save lives.
  • Science librarians are part of the scientific process - and not just managing the data, but in making new science

Now, more than ever, libraries are busy and are needed. At all levels. But their budgets are in trouble as they compete for shrinking funding with EMTs, Fire Stations, and Police. In my local county, they are not shrinking hours - at all. All of the massive budget cuts are coming from collections and from staff furloughs (public library staff are about the same or a little less than teachers with the same education). Unfortunately, GrrlScientist's library isn't as cognizant of their place in the community.
So, we'll talk about science and supporting scientists, and we'll also talk about other ways libraries and librarians help science and the community. And we'll of course talk about all of my information science stuff (but that's a separate rant!)

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