Professional Blogs

by sjankowski9

The assignment for my blog is to find two professional librarians and write about their insights. I found two professional librarians and began to examine the posts. Their unique perspective of their profession and the integration into their lives enamored me. What I found exciting was the sense of confidence with their profession and their streaks of humor as well. I focused on two technological librarians. The first librarian, Jessamyn West, is from Vermont, works for private technology service, and is the director for a private company. The second librarian, K.G. Schneider, was once a tech librarian but she expanded to academic library duties and currently lives in California. She also enjoys food, traveling, and has a love/hate relationship for cataloging. I will try to provide a joint analysis and contribute the two blogs together as the future of librarians.

West succinctly provides her intentions and I truly appreciate it. In a posting in September, she wrote about, “How Not To Write About Libraries,” in which she explains the current and modern design of libraries and the greater interest to participate in them. As the librarian describes in her recent posting, she went to New York City for a conference and was part of a panel. Being a tech librarian, West wanted to elaborate on her short twelve-minute speech through her blog entry. She spoke about the librarians bridging the digital divide, and even wrote about the subject in a book. I felt this is extremely important and succinct with my interest in disabilities and aging adults and their separation from technology. However, she makes a concise advance by describing the digital divide as a cultural separation: “The general gist is that people who lack access don’t just lack a computer…they lack access to a culture that is swiftly beginning to define a large swath of economic and social opportunities (and economic and social power) in a place that is all but invisible to them.” She continues by describing that, “we need to understand the challenges in creating and making available digital content for ALL people, not just those who can afford it and not just those who already know how to access it” (West, 2012). Digital divide is more of concern then I had thought about. More so, I feel it is urgent to allow and access technology, especially through the services of libraries and librarians.

Librarians and libraries are necessary to ensure all patrons are progressing together, whether it through public libraries or a different media center. Except, how are they supposed to offer technology equipment for the patrons if they do not have computers or tablets? How are they supposed to grant the publishers allowances to the library’s needs? Furthermore, how are the librarians supposed to employ services for individuals who do not participate in libraries? The extent of the questions is quite formidable. However, the second librarian tries to reach the kernel of the reasons.

K.G. Schneider posts on her blog, Free Range Librarian, to answer the librarians’ needs stemming from the ALA queries. Providing with hilarious content, she makes extremely pertinent posts. In September 16th, the post is “Hachette Job, and Other Pre-LIANZA Musings” in which the subject is about librarians becoming bold. The ALA President Maureen Sullivan said to become “more aggressive” and become bold through the ALA’s Digital Content and Libraries Working Group over the extent of eBooks cost and technology in general. Schneider provides a contrary statement to Sullivan, and wrote, “Imagine if the university accreditors showed up and asked how many journal holdings were open access…or published by libraries or universities. Imagine too if the ALA LIS program accreditation committee held schools’ feet to the fire for producing graduates who understood…the complex publishing landscape and our roles in it as advocates and defenders — measurable with a four-hour closed-book final exam. If I’m going to imagine, I might as well be bold about it” (Schneider, 2012). Although Schneider finds herself in an “active response,” these issues that the relevant eBooks and publishers could mire the entire enterprise of a good book down the tubes.

The two librarians are both specialists within their own niche and found a chord for me. Although I am in my first semester trying to familiarize myself with the environment, I did not realize that blogs provide public professional writings and networking. The words that West made about the Digital Divide and the separation through culture are necessary dangers. But, as Schneider writes, how are the librarians prepared to fight against publishers. I believe it is through confidence and determination.

I am now a reader of both of the blogs.

Reference:

Schneider, K.G. (2012, September 16). Free Range Librarian. “Hachette Job, and Other Pre-LIANZA Musings.” Retrieved from http://freerangelibrarian.com/.

West, Jessamyn. (2012, October 31). Librarian.net. “in re books, wrap-up.” Retrieved from http://www.librarian.net/stax/3947/in-re-books-wrap-up/#more-3947.

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