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Monday, September 14, 2015

Reference and Today's Library

Where Reference Fits in the Modern LIbrary

Today’s reference user wants help doing things rather than finding things

Brian Kenney | September 11, 2015

For years, we’ve been hearing that traditional library reference service is dead. In reality, reference just disappeared, like Jimmy Hoffa. But unlike in the case of Hoffa, no one in the library field seems intent on figuring out what happened to reference. In fact, many librarians are intent on carrying on as though little has changed.
Sure, librarians are quick to acknowledge that library reference is different in the digital age. But even the innovations in reference service today are predicated on the same, age-old definition of a library reference transaction: people have information needs, and it’s our job to resolve them. 

<more at; related links: (The Atlas of New Librarianship. R. David Lankes. [Overview:  Libraries have existed for millennia, but today the library field is searching for solid footing in an increasingly fragmented (and increasingly digital) information environment. What is librarianship when it is unmoored from cataloging, books, buildings, and committees? In The Atlas of New Librarianship, R. David Lankes offers a guide to this new landscape for practitioners. He describes a new librarianship based not on books and artifacts but on knowledge and learning; and he suggests a new mission for librarians: to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communities. The vision for a new librarianship must go beyond finding library-related uses for information technology and the Internet; it must provide a durable foundation for the field. Lankes recasts librarianship and library practice using the fundamental concept that knowledge is created though conversation. New librarians approach their work as facilitators of conversation; they seek to enrich, capture, store, and disseminate the conversations of their communities.] and (Re-Envisioning the MLS:
Findings, Issues, and Considerations. John Carlo Bertot, Lindsay C. Sarin, Johnna Percell. August 1, 2015. [Executive SummaryThe last several years have been marked by a number of societal challenges and changes that include the evolving nature of our economy; the workforce skills needed to succeed in a shifting job market; advances in technology; the changing nature of information; ransformations in education and learning approaches; and rapid demographic shifts occurring in our communities (ALA, 2014). As we consider the future of our information organizations such as libraries, archives, and museums, we need to simultaneously focus on the future of the Master of Library Science (MLS) degree (and its variants) and how we prepare information professionals for their careers. The opportunity to rethink MLS education led the University of Maryland’s iSchool and Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC) to launch the Re-Envisioning the MLS initiative in August 2014 to seek answers to the following questions:
• What is the value of an MLS degree?
• What does the future MLS degree look like?
• What should the future MLS degree look like?
• What are the competencies, attitudes, and abilities that future library and information
professionals need?
• What distinguishes the Maryland iSchool’s MLS program from other MLS programs?
• What distinguishes the Maryland iSchool’s MLS program graduates from other MLS
program graduates?
The Re-Envisioning the MLS initiative involved multiple activities that included the creation of the MLS Program’s inaugural Advisory Board; a speaker’s series; engagement sessions; stakeholder/community discussions; blog entries to document findings and promote further discussion; the development of a white paper for discussion purposes; and environmental scanning and research.]>

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