No matter how many blogs I read I always seem to miss something of interest. In preparing for an upcoming panel presentation I came across the Taiga Forum's provocative statements (pdf) published in early 2006. Although I am late on this thread, these statements deserve revisting since they seem to summarize the various major topic areas that were blogged by librarians last year.
While being defined as being provocative I didn't find them that provocative. Perhaps this is because I am reading them retrospectively. Then again, maybe they would be provocative if I were a technical services/cataloging librarian.
The only statement that I thought was provocative is number 8:
" Within the next five years.... there will be no more librarians as we know them. Staff may have MBAs or be computer/data scientists. All library staff will need the technical skills equivalent to today’s systems and web services personnel. The ever increasing technology curve will precipitate a high turnover among traditional librarians; the average age of library staff will have dropped to 28."
This statement leads one to believe the shift will result from changes in technology when the reason behind the change is something that we have been expecting. We know there is a graying of our profession and a significant number of library professionals will retire in the upcoming years. At the same time the number of library schools and individuals going to library school has decreased. In order for libraries to survive libraries will need employees. Given the dearth of library school graduates we will need to hiring employees with alternative degrees. So, we will see more alternative degrees.
Younger individuals become library professionals will likely come in with a more technical orientation and skill set which will push forward the creation and integration of more technology services.
Therefore, I feel the increasing technology curve will not precipitate the high turnover. The high turnover is a bubble that we have been waiting to burst for ten years now. The turnover will bring in younger, more technology oriented library professionals which will in effect lead to an increase in technology deployment that may have been held back by the "old school" librarians heading into the next phase of their lives.
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