Monday, 28 July 2014

Librarian by spirit

Being a bibliophile and a technologist it was inevitable that I was attracted, like a homing pigeon, to a career in the National Library. It is one of a select few libraries in Australia which assumes the desirable burden of legal deposit, ensuring that what the public creates daily is cared for and made available to future as well as current generations. The ability to see (or hear) any snapshot of life at any point in Australia's history is always inspiring. Recently, President Obama gave an example of a resulting benefit: 

... the arts and the humanities aren’t just there to be consumed and enjoyed whenever we have a free moment in our lives. We rely on them constantly. We need them. Like medicine, they help us live." [ Ref: ]. The transformation of "12 Years a Slave" from 1853 publication to cinematic experience in 2013 is a case in point.
These days I am a "Librarian by Spirit", advocating the use of memory services both online and offline. The writings of those who work in and for libraries and other services provided by 'memory institutions' such as government archives, museums, galleries and historical societies still resonate.

For example, in the work Expect More: Demanding Better Libraries For Today's Complex World, R. David Lankes makes the following quotable points:
Business models are changing, but quality information or personalized information still costs real money.
Remember, the mission of the library is to improve society, not maximize the use of services it already offers. Libraries facilitate knowledge creation; they don’t wring the value out of collections.
When you limit your expectations of a library to a supplier for your consumption, the library is in direct competition with Amazon, Google, and the local paper. But if you expect more—if you expect your library to be an advocate for you in the complex knowledge infrastructure—if you expect your library to be a center of learning and innovation—if you expect your library to help you create knowledge and not simply get you easy access to the work of others—if you expect your librarians to be personally concerned with your success—if you expect the library to be a third place that glues together a community—if you expect your library to inspire you, to challenge you, to provoke you, but always to respect you beyond your means to pay—then you expect a great library. [ Ref: ]
This blog will further explore memory services.

'Memory institutions' is a term commonly used by the global commentator on library futures, Dr Lorcan Dempsey,, @lorcanD.

No comments:

Post a Comment