Core Values of New Librarianship

Yesterday, we looked at how librarians turn community pressure into library services.  Community pressure has led public libraries to create centers with curriculum built around different subgroups with different interests. Three centers were highlighted:

1. Entrepreneurium – libraries provide the computers, the meeting space and the pitch room for incubating new businesses.  Also, to further business interests of members, they meet at the library for field trips to successful businesses.

2. Writing Centers – libraries provide an intimate setting to talk to authors, provide space for writing, using laptops, hanging out with other writers.

3. Music Centers –  libraries provide space for musical performances, for creating podcasts of performances.

Access. Knowledge. Environment. Motivation.  These concepts are repeated in these lessons (book and video); they are the means for facilitating knowledge creation. Sometimes I feel the lessons are fragmented so I am trying to bring the concepts together in my mind.  Here goes:  In New Librarianship, the library is a place for access – bringing the conversants and the resources together, helping participants acquire knowledge (skills,concepts) by participating in the conversation, ensuring a safe, comfortable environment (physical, cultural, emotional, legal), and allowing members to be motivated by following their interests.

Today the video-clip that I watched was about the foundations of new librarianship or the values.  Let us not forget our key sentence about the librarian’s mission. There are two parts to the mission:

1. to improve society

2. though facilitating knowledge creation in their communities.

Librarianship we are told is a noble profession founded on ethics, principles and moral standing. What are the 3 core values of librarianship according to the Instructor?

1. Learning – librarians are in the learning business which is different from the teaching business, education business, and the pedagogy business.  I will have to read more on this because I think learning and education are similar.

2. Openness – librarians don’t restrict information.  We value intellectual honesty.

3. Intellectual Freedom and Safety – librarians provide information in a place where members feel comfortable and safe (physically, legally, emotionally).  This is the value that makes librarians unique. This value is also related to two of American Library, Association’s (ALA) core values; Intellectual Freedom and privacy and confidentiality.

Two of the three values, Learning and Openness, are listed among the core values of the Salzburg Curriculum which we will be discussing in this New Librarianship class:

  • Openness and transparency
  • Self-reflection
  • Collaboration
  • Service
  • Empathy and respect
  • Continuous learning/striving for excellence
  • Creativity and imagination (developing new ideas)

Let’s see. So far I have learned that librarians are in the conversation business, the knowledge business, and the learning business. We facilitate knowledge creation and conversation. We are power-brokers empowering communities through all types of literacy.  We are trusted arbiters or mediators and our greatest asset and responsibility is our credibility.  We belong to a noble profession.  We have a point of view and value learning, transparency and intellectual honesty, intellectual freedom and safety.


2 thoughts on “Core Values of New Librarianship

  1. How could I have missed this value: Intellectual honesty but not unbiased. There is much discussion on the unbiased part. We all have biases, whether racial, gender, social class, religious and or political, because of our individual personal experiences.

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