Librarians: The Three Types I Still See

One week later, and I'll admit: I'm concerned.

Scott McCleod has posted a list of ten incredibly important and equally complex questions about books, libraries, librarians, and schools.

Doug Johnson has begun to react to Scott's questions, by stepping back as a (very good) librarian himself and challenging his peers to step up to the plate. we respond to folks like Scott says a lot about us. Can we explain our values and mission and realities without sounding defensive, self-serving or reactionary? Read the responses to Scott's post, put on your classroom teacher, principal, or parent hat and evaluate!
With such a provocative challenge and important list of questions, wouldn't you think that every librarian would want to respond? Unfortunately from where I sit, however, I still see three kinds of librarians (and teachers, for that matter - the same we've seen now, for years):
  1. Those that read and participate in the online think-tank we call social media.
  2. Those content to lurk but still hesitant (or unable, for whatever reason) to contribute.


  3. Those still stuck in the analog paradigm.
Sadly, the "professionals" behind door number 3 have likely yet to see the questions posed by Scott - and probably never will - unless some caring person prints the list out for them and tapes it next to the library copy machine, feigning violation of some abstruse portion of copyright law.

Roland Barth has said it best:
The problem of all educational institutions isn't that they are no longer what they once were. The problem is that they are precisely what they once were, while the world around them is changing in revolutionary ways.
Is it ever too late to change? Sometimes I wonder. More importantly, I continue to wonder what we can do to help current educators break out of their molds and into this century.


Image source: Flickr user Lester Public Library.

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