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Librarianship isn’t dead: PG Open Evening at #CITYLIS

Untitled“Librarianship isn’t dead” was the leading message at City University two nights ago. I and my colleagues had the privilege of attending #citylis, an open evening for post graduates interested in either the MSc Information Science or MSc/MA Library Science available at City University.

As specialists in the library and information market, it was only right that we attended and what an informative meeting it was. Our host Lyn Robinson inundated us with the changing face of librarianship and beckoned the librarians in the audience to take a stand and get involved or be left behind.

The library as we know it is changing and this is the result of an array of things from the shortage of funding, to the advancement in technology, to the perception of data.  The lack of funding, for example has resulted in a number of library closures. Recently, funding for libraries across the London Borough of Harrow was slashed by £500, 000 and many more libraries within London have been earmarked for closure.  Technological advances have changed the way literature is used and distributed. We no longer need paperbacks, when we have e-books that can be viewed on our mobiles, kindles and apple screens. What’s more, our understanding of data has changed. The increasing importance on privacy has culminated in the protection and preservation of data as well as the various forms of dissemination. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 can be seen then as a result of the discussion on information and how it is used or abused.  Our consumer society is placing demands on the sector and customer service skills are now seen as mandatory. It is no longer enough to like books; you have to like people also.   Therefore, librarians must evolve.

The #citylis open day was a reminder that librarians, the ultimate custodians of information, can’t afford to remain complacent in what is fast becoming a dynamic sector driven by the consumer, technology and ever changing perceptions of data.

If the librarians won’t do it, the technology boffins will and think about how different the world would be if that happened. 

 

– Cristine Edusi

*and thanks to @ernestopriego for the photo.

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