Challenging the Assumptions of Legacy Librarianship
Friday, April 4, 2008
Leg-a-cy: something handed down from an ancestor or a predecessor or from the past.
"Legacy librarianship" is a term coined by presenter Joan Frye Williams to describe the fundamental truths that have been passed down through the generations of librarians—in library school, on the job, and in our professional literature. For example, we've always been told that one-on-one assistance to patrons is our most valuable activity, and should be our top priority. Have you ever wondered if these "truths" would hold up under serious scrutiny?
Most librarians simply take what they've always been told about patrons and their needs for granted, but the world we serve has changed, and new evidence confirms that some of our basic assumptions about library service need to change, too. To stay relevant we must be in sync with the needs and wants of our communities, but how can we implement change when the inertia of "legacy librarianship" is a nearly irresistible force?
In this version of their PLA presentation, library consultant Joan Frye Williams and OCLC Vice-President George Needham will take a humorous, no-holds-barred look at recent data that challenge traditional library thinking, and will offer some surprising suggestions for re-imagining the library. Participants will learn about:
- The most recent OCLC-commissioned research findings, including data about social networking and about library advocacy
- Suggestions about which library services align well with emerging customer requirements, and which services might need to be discarded or changed
- Successful new service models, with practical implementation tips
This webcast is designed for librarians, public service and branch staff, library workers with customer service responsibilities, friends, trustees and commissioners, plus anyone with both a connection to the library community and a sense of humor.
Webinars are free of charge and registration is only done on the day of the event on the WebEx server. No passwords are required.
Speakers: George Needham and Joan Frye Williams