If we're going to continue to remain relevant as a profession, we need first to take personal responsibility -- for remaining informed, for building something that goes beyond ourselves, for moving forward in our careers. Our institutions are nothing without their people; our profession is built from our multiple and ongoing contributions to the field. It's difficult to be proactive in moving ourselves or the profession forward if a sense of entitlement and a belief that we are subject to forces beyond our control permeates our careers.
Rachel is discussing this sense of personal responsibility from the perspective of newer librarians, regardless of age. I've had a growing frustration with more experienced members of our profession who hold desperately onto the idea that "all that technology" has no relevance to good librarianship. In fact, I've been thinking so much about this idea that I submitted an abstract for Internet Librarian on "Making Them Care: Demonstrating the relevance of Library 2.0 to staff and management"
What I find most ironic about this resistance to learning about new technologies -- or even new ways of doing this work that don't require something electronic -- is that libraries have been trying to position themselves as "the people's university" or "a place for lifelong learning." How can we claim that title if the professionals providing support for that learning don't keep learning themselves? Particularly about tools that are becoming increasingly pervasive in our patrons' lives, and our own?
I've often felt that I, as a 30-something librarian with nearly a decade in the field, straddle the fence between the techno-evangelists and the reluctant adopters. I see the benefits of slow transitions to new technologies, of not running off hare-brained after every fad. But I also see where willing ignorance and the inability to see why this is important are keeping us from serving ever-growing numbers of our patrons in the best possible way.