New Librarians’ Values and Skills

I am repeating this mission statement because I constantly want to be reminded that in this MOOC on New Librarianship, the mission of librarians is to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communities.

I watched two video-clips today and intend to do some reading later from the text. One video-clip focused on the part of the mission that says improve society. This was tied into two additional values of librarianship: innovation for positive change and leadership. One of the many key points I absorbed today was that librarians ought to be constantly learning, changing and improving our community.

Also, today I have learned that librarians are radical (read activist, “on the edge”, “hip”), positive change agents. We are in the conversation business, the knowledge business, and the learning business. We facilitate knowledge creation through conversation.  How do we facilitate?  That’s the complex part.  By getting the conversants and the resources together – access, through a curriculum/learning center – knowledge, in a safe, comfortable environment, and through motivation. 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. We have an obligation to lead and evangelize our profession.

Interesting that the Instructor used the word evangelize.  This librarian/blogger who studied theology said she wrote a paper titled, “The Ministry of Librarianship”.

The second video-clip was about the 5 skills of new librarians:

1. Public service – outreach to the community

2. Administration

3. Information organization

4. Information seeking

5. Collection Development

There has been a lot of conversation of the discussion boards on power and the fact that the Instructor said librarians  value intellectual honesty but are not unbiased.  Here is an interesting link on intellectual honesty. One sign of intellectual honesty is questioning our own assumptions and biases. Another is demonstrating consistency (no double standards) and commitment to critical thinking.


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