“New Librarianship” is a buzzword, especially here at Syracuse, but what does it mean? Here’s my take:

New Librarians and people-who-work-in-libraries are two very different things. The latter is a job; there’s nothing wrong with that, and I believe very strongly that libraries need passionate, good people to help fulfill their purpose.

On the other end of the spectrum, “Librarianship” isn’t a job—it’s a vocation. It’s not something you can put away at the end of the day, when you leave the building. Librarianship is an aggregation of personality, ethics, politics, education, worldview, and focus; there is a reason why librarianship requires graduate study to embark upon.

New Librarianship requires a mission. To borrow R. David Lankes’, “The mission of librarians is to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communities.” (That quote, and much of the inspiration for this post, comes from his Atlas of New Librarianship

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