Monday, January 5, 2009

in the future we will all be...

A couple of months ago, I went to a conference where someone stated, as a matter of fact, "in the future we will all be librarians"... I was struck by that statement for two reasons: i) I disgreed, but I wasn't sure why I disagreed... and ii) in my application in 1999 to my previous job at U of Washington, I had stated: "I am confident that in the future--in a society where everyone will be able to do what librarians have always done--there will be an accelerated demand for professionals who are able to create efficient systems for the organization of knowledge." -- But is this really so? I don't think I believe this, any longer...

As I noted in my last post, I think KO can be divided in three sets of problem types... and I while I do think that some of the ideas developed in KO practice and theory in the past 50 years or so (mainly those out of the CRG) can be utilized in the medium IOP set -- people practicing medium IOP draw, to some degree, on what librarians know (or should know)... but is it mostly very, very different than librarianship. The big IOPs do, of course, occupy librarians and librarian-type people... but I think the solutions to big IOPs, in the long term, will come from ideas other than those developed in librarinship. Small IOPs doesn't draw on librarianship at all -- and small IOP practitioners don't do librarianship.

So... will everyone in teh future do what librarians have always done; will we all be librarians in the future -- I think not, espeically not the KO area... because, basically, librarians will not do what they have always done...


  1. Heck, I've only been a librarian for three and a half years, but I'm already pretty sure I'm not doing what librarians have always done...ideally, anyway.


  2. Will everyone in 'The Future' want to be their own librarian, or will they maybe still want to go to a professional for some things instead of reinventing the wheel every time?