Justin the Librarian set off a recent spate of end-of-the-year, things-I’ve-learned-lists with his Eight Things I Learned about being a Librarian in Two Zero Ten. While I’m not a true librarian yet (only one more semester until I get my MLIS!!!), I have been working at an academic library for the past year. So I’ll hop on the library world bandwagon–Here are four things that I learned in 2010:
1. Mobile Technology is exciting and very important to the library’s future. Librarians that aren’t investigating mobile device usage in the library are going to be playing catch up. I see exciting possibilities through the use QR codes, and wrote a “pretend” grant to that affect for a course I took this fall. I just wish it wasn’t “pretend” so I could actually implement it. Adapting websites for mobile devices and incorporating Smartphone use in the library is essential. Just look at Nielsen’s prediction that Smartphone penetration will be at 50% in 2011 – a huge jump from 2010’s 28% of the market.
2. Some people still don’t get it. I get so tired of the fact that people think that libraries aren’t necessary anymore. I recently heard a similar comment from my sister, a law school student – and she is someone who uses the library at her university consistently. This means marketing libraries is important – after all, we exist to serve, and we can’t serve people if they don’t know what we can offer. The best advice I heard recently on library advocacy was to simply, “talk libraries.” Meaning, no matter where you are, even the line in the grocery store, talk about your library. This applies to the online world as well. Get the word out!
3. People who think libraries are no longer needed obviously haven’t been to one in awhile. My local public library is always packed – no matter what time I’m there. Same with the academic library I work at – computers are all full, reference transactions are happening, not to mention all the other fun stuff. Art exhibits, movie showings, gaming days, and much more is all happening at the library. And why not? I believe the library serves an important function as a “third place” for the community. That is, it is a place outside of work and home where people can hang out and be comfortable.
4. Technology moves fast!! It is imperative that librarians keep up. I made a decision late this year, that I was going to immerse myself in technology and its use in the library. New technologies abound, and in order to stay relevant to our users, we need to keep up. I’m especially thinking about mobile devices (again). Usage will keep going up and before we know it, almost everyone will be sporting a Smartphone. Let’s not have to play catch up.
Thoughts? Comments? I know some of this is obvious, but it’s truly stuff that just came to light for me. I’ve just recently entered the blogging/tweeting world, so let me know what you think!