Monday, January 30, 2012

Why do we do anything?

It's hard to think about the future of libraries, even worse when you think about the future of education. At times it feels like we're on runaway train that's about to jump the track into the void of obsolescence. Discussing this in class, it's hard to not get weighed down by the discussion of the future, the job market, the increasing lack of respect for the profession, and the general state of the world of education; on the other hand, it gives us the opportunity  and the impetus for change. Yes, a petition to the president asking him to support quality school libraries seems ridiculous, but then I look at the Arab spring we just had, where Twitter was a key component in overthrowing corrupt governments (let us not dwell on the fact that they may have been replaced by equally corrupt governments). The fact is that we are not the only ones feeling inadequate. Educators in general are feeling overwhelmed and under-appreciated and, at least in this country, we are rapidly moving towards the breaking point. These feelings, according to incidental research done by talking to friends and looking at my Facebook feed, are not just in the education field either. The change in the world that has occurred in the past decade alone blows my mind.

I'm going back to David Lankes the so-called "new librarianship", which views our situation as one of opportunity as opposed to obsolescence. Our circumstances are not going to change; we are always going to need to fight for our roles to be recognized. What we can change is our attitude.


  1. You think we are only now just rapidly moving towards the breaking point? My parents retired from elementary school teaching in 1996- they were telling me back then not to pursue a career in education for the same reasons you give- feeling overwhelmed and under-appreciated. How much more can teachers take? Has the profession been degrading because of these longstanding feelings?

    So, I listened to my parents back then about not going into teaching- I wish now that I hadn't;)

  2. Maybe we should keep this in mind when we hear about the dying art of librarianship. Death=rebirth, after all--maybe the old stereotype of the librarian is dying, but that's just making room for the Twittering, teaching, leader-librarian. I'm sure educators will appreciate our help, too.

  3. I wonder if there aren't lots of professions that feel overwhelmed and under-appreciated and we're just too focused on our own situations to realize it? Who knows?


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