Friday, June 8, 2012

Better Late than Never

So, I put this off this week because I had a lot to say and was not sure how to say it. Monday and Tuesday I travelled to and attended the IP 2050 conference at UNC Chapel Hill. This conference consisted of 4 panels, each addressing different aspects of the future programs that educate information professionals. While much of the conference focused on academia and the future programs that would make SLIS or SILS students viable candidates in the workforce, I waited with baited breath to see what the speakers would have to say on the impact it would have on the public library system. Specifically, I was waiting to hear how they proposed to get the information to the students who in turn would get it to the masses during a time of increased budget cuts, staff cuts and downsizing. Unfortunately that happened with only one speaker out of 16. Now, I know they were not there to debate budget and staff cuts but I would have liked to hear more about how they thought this would be addressed in the future. Like many of the speakers noted, it is very difficult to speculate what education will look like for library students and graduates 38 years from now. One speaker suggested I get more ionvolved with my state and local library associations, I am a member and plan to attend their conferences, but attending conferences does not help me address the concerns that loom, not 38 years on the horizon but on tomorrows horizon. Many of the "librarians" in our county have degrees far outside the realm of Library science, some have no degree, some are building managers, some, and I don't say this to be mean, really need to retire, and some would love to go to school and either can't afford it or don't have the time. So, how do we as future graduates in MLIS, SLIS programs bring that knowledge to them and do so inexpensively, with the most impact, not only to those who work behind the desk, but those that we serve? More thoughts to come, so stay tuned.

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