Can This Profession be Saved? Should This Profession be Saved?

I am growing increasingly concerned about the future of this profession (librarianship). We have so much to offer yet we actually seem to be the problem to survival. First we morphed into the “information professions.” Then “information professionals” whatever that means. I am not sure how information became a profession. Sure, the term “librarian” carries […]

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Learning from Millenials

Yes. We were hacked. A posting went out late last week from a group named “ESO Gold” that had no text and no workable links. It happens. We think it is fixed. Sorry for any inconvenience. And thank you to all who informed us. I just keep on learning, from the millenials. Maybe we have […]

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The Future of Libraries: Do We have Five Years to Live?

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Is the Service Model Dead?

We have all heard those dreadful terms – information waitress, ancillary staff, auxiliary staff, support staff – used to describe librarians in their service roles. It became evident thirty years ago from much evidence that the service model should be dead in schools. Support and assistance were helpful only insofar as they enabled equal partnerships. […]

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Do We Need Library Boards?

There are many reasons for library boards, not the least is perceived protection from City Hall. So few trustees appear to be appointed, however, for their strategic abilities, business acumen and political astuteness. Many CEOs complain that they want strong boards but then strong boards challenge and provoke, not high on anyone’s list. At least […]

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Time to Get Real about Advocacy

If you are wondering about the research on effective libraries (and librarians) as well as the perceptions of administrators and how to deal with their realities, you need go no further than the new MOOC (Massive On-line Open Course), hosted and taught by Wendy Newman of the University of Toronto. You can register for the […]

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Why Do Librarians Avoid Management?

Ask any beginning class of LIS students how many want to be managers and leaders in the field and you will be delighted if four or five respond affirmatively. This is largely a lack of interest coupled with a notion of managers being inherently evil. Alternately, and in my view even worse, some do not […]

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McDonalds as Third Space

Guest blog by Daphne Wood, director of planning and organizational development for the Vancouver Public Library. Why are we invisible? Much emphasis is placed on public libraries’ role as a safe, welcoming and non-commercial “third space.” And as the impacts of densification increase in urban centres, personal space is at an all-time premium. High-rise condos […]

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What Are Your Scenarios Depicting Different Futures for Libraries?

Guest blog by Joseph R. Matthews and Peter Hernon Joe Matthews is library consultant with JRM Consulting Inc. <> Peter Hernon is professor emeritus at the Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Increasingly there are discussions about the relevance of libraries to their communities, parent institution and organization. Planning focuses on that relevance, […]

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Betting on the Book

This guest blog is written by Steve Coffman, Vice President, LSSI. He can be reached at or 707-206-5425. Mr. Coffman expressed these views at the Future of Libraries Institute in Vancouver in November. Get over it. The library is about books. Celebrate it. Exploit it. Don’t abandon it. Post-Print Futures? It has become a […]

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