This sentence is the primary focus of this MOOC on New Librarianship: “The mission of librarians is to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communities”. So far the Instructor has opened up a conversation about the “worldview of librarianship” moving from the information age to knowledge society. We looked at knowledge as dynamic and human and created through conversation. The four parts of a conversation were outlined:
- conversants – at least two parties are involved and this includes a person conversing with him or herself.
- language we use to converse- oral and non verbal, directional and specialized language
- agreements – the reason for the conversation, includes non-agreements
- memory – remembering the agreements
Today we looked at the librarian as facilitator which led to the 4 aspects of facilitation:
- access – a core value of librarianship – access to library items (artifacts), online access and equity of access but in this class we need to think in terms of access to a member’s conversation and also in terms of a member having access to other members’ conversations
- knowledge – so that members can participate in the conversation
- environment – place of safety (physical, cultural, emotional, legal)
- motivation – incentives that encourage members to engage in conversation
Three other concepts were introduced that I want to absorb and remember. First, there was the concept of the librarian as a power broker fighting for privacy and intellectual freedom, fighting against filtering and censorship of information, giving power to the community through literacy. Second, the concept of the librarian as community publishers – freelance production assistants. The third concept is literacy redefined as the ability to recognize patterns and take action.
We have to think of means of facilitation with specific examples. I can not come up with anything original. Organizing book club meetings, teaching study skills and critical thinking skills, organizing Meet the Author events and human library events come to mind. At my library we had a very popular “Literati Lockdown” – an all night pre Halloween event with students writing and performing skits and doing scavenger hunts.
One participant in theMOOC wrote that many internet users are actually performing librarian-related tasks and suggested that pointing this out to them would help the facilitation process. See more in his article on that topic.