The Connected Librarian: More than Social Media

Pity the 21st century special librarian. Between connecting her clients to information, connecting with her peers through social media networks and association activities, connecting her job to a career path by attending professional development offerings, and connecting her role to the larger mission of her organization, she’s stretched so thin she may start to question why she connected with librarianship in the first place.

Deb Schwarz, chief executive officer of the LAC Group and a former law library director, understands that all of this pressure to connect may be leaving special librarians feeling, well, disconnected—or at least unsure how to respond.

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“We are shifting from people who manage collections to people who manage connections,” she writes in the March-April 2016 issue of Information Outlook. “[But] what does it mean to be a ‘connected’ librarian? Is it all about social media and sharing, and does that matter as much as millenials would have us believe?

Deb talked to several librarians within her firm to get their views about being connected and how they see their roles and responsibilities changing. She organized their responses into three areas that she believes will “guide the future of our profession.” These three areas are as follows:

  1. The connected librarian is about building and strengthening relationships, both within and outside the profession as well as personal and virtual.
  2. The connected librarian creates and maintains a linkage to time—past, present, and future.
  3. The connected librarian links people to increasingly diverse types and voluminous amounts of information.

“Being outside of one’s comfort zone is always a challenge, but it’s a critical component of being connected,” she writes. “The wider the network the better, because librarianship is a profession in transition. New connections bring new perspectives, as well as opportunities to strategize, adapt, and redefine the role of the librarian.”

To learn more about being a connected librarian in the 21st century, read the article.

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