Having recently participated in CSU Study Visits of school, university, special, and public libraries I was able to see how the principles underpinning library services apply in each sector. Similarly, all information agencies promote and connect people with information and ideas through evidence-based services. Of particular interest to me were the initiatives used by libraries to promote their services and reach their communities. The flexibility of these agencies in adapting to changes in user needs and in information environments is inspiring. This reinforced to me my thoughts on the important role information professionals play in communities and supports my developing belief that the debate over the value of information professionals and agencies is dusted.
Rather than focusing their dialogue on the debated value of their services, the information professionals involved in the Study Visits demonstrated that we should be focusing on the measurable impact to positively position libraries as thriving institutions. We should be focusing on measurable impact without the undertone of threat to the profession. Yes, we must promote, yes, we must advocate, but let’s avoid the noid. The noid being the “physical manifestation of all the challenges inherent in delivering pizza” (Vinton, n.d., as cited in Crockett, 2014). But the pizza in our scenario, what we are trying to achieve as library professionals, is the fundamental principle of “equality of opportunity” for our communities (ALIA, 2014). The informational professionals who shared their experiences as part of the Study Visits clearly focused on the innovative ways they overcome constraints to provide opportunities for their resource users.
Group 243. (1986). Avoid the Noid [Image]. https://www.fastcompany.com/3032911/kidnapping-death-pizza-how-dominos-lost-its-mascot
Teacher librarians have done the work to establish, or re-establish, themselves as vital members of their school communities as teaching and learning experts. Participating in the Study Visits has inspired me to continue this work and ensure the library community is clearly reflected in the programs and services offered at schools and to ensure the dialogue around these is positive to position the library as a thriving and vital service for the school community.
Australia Library and Information Association. (2014). Future of the library and information science profession. https://www.alia.org.au/sites/default/files/ALIA-Future-of-the-LIS-Profession-01_0.pdf
Crockett, Z. (2014). How Domino’s Pizza lost its mascot. Priceconomics. https://priceonomics.com/how-dominos-pizza-lost-its-mascot/