Sunday, May 28, 2006

The importance of technology in the library world

As a future librarian, understanding technology is gaining more importance. "Now technology has penetrated every facet of library service, and every staff member has to know something about technology." Says Julie James. (qtd. In Braun) I find this especially true since most libraries have computers with internet access for users, library catalogs are kept in databases, and automated check outs are starting to become commonplace.

Because of the importance of technology to the information field, the role of librarians is changing. “Librarians are not just called librarians anymore. Increasingly their job responsibilities and titles provide a framework for the technological role that they play within the library. Professional journals and electronic mailing lists reflect these new roles. They are filled with openings for Technology Consultant, Technology Training Coordinator, Head of the Digital Information Literacy Office, Information Systems Librarian, Head of Computer Services, Webmaster, Cybrarian, and Internet Services Librarian. (Braun) Because of these changes and the fact that I am a rather young future librarian and technology is bound to keep emerging, the need to know as much as possible about computers seems extremely valuable to me.

“In the best of all worlds, the person managing the technology would have both library and systems skills. However, it is still uncommon to find librarians who have a strong enough IT background.” (Braun) Because of this I decided that the addition of a degree in IST would be something that could set me apart and increase my chances of getting the job I want. I have come across several job opening that would like librarians with a MLIS and a background in computers, such as IST.

In addition the style of learning that is used in IST courses with the team-based approach is something that is also a valuable skill to have in library science. “Working in teams to develop programs and services is becoming the norm in larger public and academic libraries. (Braun) So this experience alone could be another thing that sets me apart from my peers.

After researching what skills are needed and expected of future librarians I concluded that getting a start in IST is what I should do. The skills that IST offers will set me apart from my peers upon graduation. And hopefully for many years to come help me find my place within the library community.

Braun, Linda W. "New Roles: A Librarian by Any Name." Library Journal 127(2002): 46-49.


Post a Comment

<< Home