“The mission of librarians is to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communities”. This is the sentence we will focus on for this course on New Librarianship. We focused specifically on knowledge today. The new world view is to focus on the librarian as facilitator of knowledge creation instead of the librarian as information provider. Knowledge is described as dynamic and human. Being human and dynamic imply interaction, conversation.The new world view is that knowledge is created through conversation; conversation with self, with organizations, with experts.
The issue for discussion is how the nature of knowing impacts the practice of librarians. So many of the participants have deep thoughts on the issue of knowledge and information. I feel lost in the multitude of deep technical writing.
Anyway, I have been thinking about the influence I have on students’ internal dialogue. I help students to find information and I teach them to critically evaluate the information sources that they select. I guide them to ask themselves the right questions as they read or listen or view the materials, for example, Is the information relevant? Is the information current? What is the writer’s purpose? Can I detect the writer’s personal biases; gender, racial, political?
Libraries provide space and arrange furniture for participants to have a dialogue with themselves (study carrels) and with their peers (group study rooms). Librarians conduct conversation at the reference desk. Librarians facilitate conversation when they host Meet the Author events. Yes, Librarians are in the knowledge business. Librarians are in the conversation business.