On Monday, a group of library school students is coming to visit my library, so today I asked my colleagues on Twitter to share their advice to new or incoming librarians.
And since @karlfisch said they should just listen to me, I’ll add my two cents worth before sharing the tweets I received on their behalf!
If I had to express my advice in 140 characters, I think it would be:
embrace the new, support and collaborate with teachers, put students first, always learn, share your passion, always reflect, lead change
And here’s the advice that educator colleagues across the globe offered up: (both positive and negative included!)
# ayucht @technolibrary Tell them that they will NEVER be bored! overwhelmed, maybe, but not bored.
# Mary Woodard MaryWoodard @technolibrary New libns must be prepared to be busier than ever before. Need good ways of coping w/stress of being constantly needed.
# LibWithAttitude LibWithAttitude @technolibrary I would tell them to make sure they keep learning and be prepared for anything, being a librarian is exciting & diverse
# Rusty Meyners rmeyners @mguhlin @technolibrary IMAGINE nly virt facilitators 4 resrch learng creativity -& fast-obsolete thro-way no-wire devices = no techs ethr
# Cathy Nelson cathyjo @technolibrary New librarians/new librarian students–Doug Johnson’s new book is a MUST read (Librarians Head to the Edge)
# Naomi Mellendorf nmellendorf RT Consider your personality! It MUST be outgoing, warm, friendly!
# Nancy White NancyW @technolibrary insight from @tomwhitby student post, their success will hinge on ability to accept and adapt to change.
# libraryqueenn SVVSDLibraries @technolibrary Make sure your stakeholders know what you do for them.
# Nancy White NancyW @technolibrary re: library school students/ be the leader we tell everyone you are!
# Melissa Techman mtechman @technolibrary publicize work,assess,help tchrs&start email list of parents to write, call and speak WHEN NOT IF budget cuts
# Chad Lehman imcguy @technolibrary They will need to adapt their cataloging procedures to the needs of their school and patrons.
# Chad Lehman imcguy @technolibrary I think I’d tell them that most of what they need to know for a job in a school library will be learned on the job.
# jamie connect2jamie @technolibrary for poll: B prepared 2 B only professional in building that has your specific goals. Outreach Collaborate Outreach!
jorech @technolibrary Make your library a place kids LOVE to visit. (that’s what our librarians do! I work with a great staff)
And another take that we have to consider–Miguel Guhlin and I had an interesting twitter chat about the changing roles of librarians (and instructional techs) and whether or not our positions are blending in with things the classroom teacher should be doing. He provided some pushback, suggesting that our profession is dying.
While I agree we need to be re-evaluating our roles(both ed tech and librarian) and how we fit and what works, I disagree that it’s a dying profession, as I think students need information literacy skills more than ever.
When they leave our schools, they may do all their research from their dorm room or home, and never interact with the library–so it’s important that they learn to question, evaluate sites, learn to use tools that manage their information flow, learn to do “deep research” beyond Google, and develop/continue a love of literature, etc. And there need to be leaders in the school that help teachers find those tools, and whose job it is to turn students on to literacy, questioning, exploration, etc.
And the more information there is, the more we all have to manage, and the better we have to get at understanding it. Our students are still novices–there’s lots they do know about technology, but I am surprised on a daily basis by what they don’t know about navigating the information landscape in terms of their analysis and understanding.
And I believe that’s what we are here for.
Here’s a summary of chat for a little “pushback”–
# mguhlin @technolibrary sorry…you want to encourage folks to go into fields that are growing, not dying. Cmbne economic stability with pwrfl vision
me: @mguhlin Interesting perspective. I don’t think information science is dying, I think it’s changing. Difference.
me: @mguhlin librarians need to be clear on how they fit into new information landscape.
me: @mguhlin Should we elminiate tech positions too then, because everyone needs to do it?
# Miguel Guhlin mguhlin @technolibrary exactly..pursue more creative pursuits
@technolibrary Yes, edtech is dissolving into everyone’s skillset. Not boxes and wires, though.
me: @mguhlin there is a need for leadership/team collaborators to help redefine what teaching/learning can be in digital age
me: @mguhlin and librarians are often the only “curriculum” leader/generalist in the building. Teachers can’t keep up w/changes..new tech..
me: @mguhlin But in many schools librarians are LEADING the teachers into change. Librarians are all about usng new tools for resrch,creating
me: @mguhlin would you tell new instructional technologists not to go into the field, then?
mguhlin @rmeyners @technolibrary I do think it’s important to re-evaluate what schools hope to accomplish with edtech and library progs!
@mguhlin @rmeyners @technolibrary and then, if those skills are best integrated into regular teacher leader positions, then to do so. Problem is…
mguhlin @rmeyners @technolibrary …funding follows positions. It’s like Pres. Obama removing NCLB T2-D funding. No explicit funding, no acctblty
So welcome to the profession! What IS clear is that it’s changing, and we have to have a sense of curiosity, not fear, about those changes. Wishing you the best as you enter your own libraries!