I’m graduating this May. As such, I am spending a lot of time thinking about the type of position I’d like to end up in. There are several interesting options out there, but until I know exactly what I’m doing, it’s not something I’m talking about much. One thing is for certain, “library 2.0″ and technology are critical to most of the positions I’ve been considering.
It appears I’m not the only one thinking about these things right now. Over at A Wandering Eyre, “Jane” discusses the training necessary for “Librarian 2.0.” She also pointed to Laura Cohen’s blog, Library 2.0: An Academic’s Perspective (which immediately went into my bloglines account).
Laura discusses some excellent points! She discusses an in-house library 2.0 retreat in very practical terms. Imagine being given permission to take the day off from other duties to attend workshops on emerging technologies and the concepts behind library 2.0. Imagine empowering your staff who have these skills to lead these sessions. Imagine getting students involved (which would not only show the library staff how students are using the technologies, but would also show the students that libraries are fun and interesting places to work). I think it’s a great idea! Clearly, public service desks would need to be covered, but if an event like this was held during an off-time of the year or staff could rotate so that everyone got most of the day off, it could still be well attended.
Laura also mentioned the need to restructure library jobs. This is something I think about a lot. I am very lucky in that I get to do a lot of Library 2.0 type things in my job, but I do them in addition to my job description. This means a lot of the interesting Library 2.0 stuff gets done in my personal time. I’m not complaining, I love doing it, but I am also guarding myself carefully against burn out. If Librarian 2.0 type responsibilities become critical to all librarian jobs, restructuring will be critical, as it’s essentially like adding another job to the the one that folks are already doing.
Finally, Laura described an amazing situation that is leading to the creation of 10 amazing and totally new types of jobs that look likely to post at the University of Albany. Can you imagine being the official Social Networking Support Librarian, Collaborative Publishing Librarian, Multimedia Publishing Librarian, Coordinator of Student Participation, Programming Risk-Taker, OPAC Transformation Librarian, Testbed Technologist, Digitization Librarian, Remote User Librarian, or Exploration and Training Librarian? Right now I wear a number of these hats unofficially. I don’t even know which one of these looks most interesting! I think one really really good point about the creation of all of these niche jobs is that it helps distribute the implementation of Library 2.0 so that all the staff hired to do traditional library jobs don’t feel overwhelmed and overburdened with adding new features to their jobs. Of course, I would hope that the folks in these positions would make it all look so fun and useful that the folks in traditional positions can’t help but want to get involved. I’ll be interested in monitoring the University of Albany’s implementation of their 10 new positions, regardless of what they are, to see what amazing things will come out of the program.
9:50pm Update: Just in from Laura: the above mentioned jobs aren’t really happening. She clarifies the post was tongue-in-cheek. Serves me right for not understanding the context of the blog! She mentions that the enthusiasm that exists for these types of positions is encouraging that positions like that might exist one day. I agree. I also don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility, particularly given all the “Librarian 2.0″ type positions we’re seeing lately. I think it’s going to be a snowball type of effect, where we’ll be seeing more and more of these positions over time. Anyway, thanks for the information, Laura, and thanks for helping us imagine new possibilities!