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Threads Postscript
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186 t h r e a d s threads postscript That was a lot to absorb, and you may be swimming a bit. I also can’t end the narrative section of the Atlas without addressing the question I get at the end of every presentation on new librarianship: What exactly should I do now? OK, standard caveats apply here about how your context and your community will ultimately dictate the answer to that, but here is a plan of action to at least get you started. I’ll break down my advice by the potential readers I outlined in the introduction. practitioners Practitioners, the first thing you should do is start mapping the conversation as outlined in the Assessment Agreement in the “Communities ” Thread. Ideally, this should be part of a larger strategic planning process where you build a demographic profile of your service community to identify the stakeholder groups in the community (so students , faculty, staff or teens, seniors, businesses, etc.). With this map in hand, you can begin a substantive dialog (read: have meetings and focus groups) first with internal staff (if you have any) and then with representatives of the identified stakeholder groups (who you have already engaged and identified as part of mapping their conversations) to ask the question, “How can we help make this community a better place?” This is the first real step to developing a new social compact. The central point of this discussion should be the map, but it should also make clear your mission and values. The map of the conversations should be as expansive as possible, directly linking to usage data of existing services, artifacts used as part of the community conversations, census data, transcripts of the focus groups, and so on. In fact, my hope is that these maps would be made widely available online so that they can be linked across communities and types of libraries. Bottom line, don’t just sit there; start looking for conversations. Library and inForMation science schoLars On the research side, scholars need to do what they do best. Poke and prod at the framework. Where you find an acceptable generality, fill in the detail in terms of theory, method, and results. Where you find error or can disprove an assertion, do so. I would only ask that if you negate a portion of the Map, you suggest an alternative or a replacement . The field needs the big picture and not just for target practice. For my colleagues in LIS schools, let us begin in earnest a conversation of curriculum and accreditation with the accrediting agencies. This debate should not be about developing some universal curriculum . Rather, it should be on general principles of preparation (symposia and practica, best practices in co-learning, the formal education ladder, etc.). We must also directly engage with professional library associations and consortia to bring some coherence and sense to continuing education. Note, I did not say bring coherence and sense to the consortia, but rather partner with them so the lines between learning and practice, school and profession, and professor and mentor melt into a rich tapestry of opportunities. To make that concrete, I recommend creating a central service where providers of instruction can register their opportunities and learners can seek out these opportunities. The system should allow the creation of recommended learning plans that a learner can adopt and annotate. The system should also allow materials, webcasts, podcasts, and the like to be added and from the service embedded into websites and learning management systems. I, of course, would recommend these materials be organized around the Atlas concepts of core values and skills, but not exclusively. For those who prefer, say, ALA’s core competencies or SLA’s competencies, the materials should be mapped to this system. Of course such a system should not be just a set of links to artifacts but should allow real ongoing conversations about the things librarians need to know and the sequence in which they need to learn them. Such a system could be used as part of accreditation statements as well. students Demand more. Demand more input into your classes. Demand more and continued access to the field. Demand more than an apprenticeship program. The reason you need to encounter more friction during your education is not so you get worn down but more finely honed. Just as innovation in librarianship is no longer confined to the academy, neither are you. The work you do, your assignments...

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  • Library science -- Philosophy.
  • Library science -- Forecasting.
  • Libraries and community.
  • Libraries and society.
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