Yes, as promised I’m going to start workshopping the book I’m working on: My Job in 10 Years: The Future of Academic Librarianship. (Note title tweak.)
First of all, this is all just provisional; I’m at a point where I need to stop tinkering if I just going to get something out the door. Some parts are over-developed for an outline, others are under-developed.
I’m still thinking bout the book structurally. I’m also still thinking about what kinds of topic areas belong in or out. I’ve been picking nits with the TOC for a while now, moving bits here and there, and that probably won’t stop, especially if all of you out there provide some feedback. The notes are also in pretty rough form, as is very obvious. I’ve also tinkered with those quite a bit.
I’m pretty sure there will be some chapters merging going forward as I probably have too many chapters right now. Some might find it interesting (or odd) to know that earlier versions didn’t have chapter numbers, only names, and that the names I used were from the roster of The Legion of Superheroes.
You’ll also note that the sections that correspond to ones in my original series of posts aren’t fleshed out as much as the others. This is mostly due to the fact that my earlier efforts have already informed the stuff I want to talk about. For the newish sections, I wanted to get some ideas down here.
And speaking of feedback, have at it. It’s all open to discussion at this point so any comments, suggestions and contributions are welcome. Consider this an invitation to participate and engage with the topics below: comment here, write your own blog posts, comment on Friendfeed, Twitter, email, whatever.
And FWIW, those that wish to read the original blog posts, they’re here in pdf format for easy printing.
Provisional Table of Contents & Notes
Part I: Environment scan (15% of the book)
Chapters 2-4 may merge and/or demerge in various ways as they are developed.
Chapter 1: Introduction
- Discussion of what the book is about, it’s focus on the future of librarians’ jobs seen through the lens of trends affecting our users and higher education.
- not about what I would like to happen — what I think will actually happen, or more precisely a range of possibilities
- every prediction will be wrong
- every institution is different
- the thing that you think is of primary importance may be something that I don’t mention or give short shrift to. That’s ok, I can’t cover everything.
- in the end, this is a very personal set of speculations, as many different takes on the future as there are interested parties speculating
- there are an infinite number of versions of this book, every librarian could write her or his own. This is only my own version, not the version. As we advance into the future, all the various possible futures will collapse into one single academic library wave function.
- What’s an academic library for? What do we owe our patrons
- look at what some doomsayers have said about the profession
- look at some optimistic ideas
- A couple of ideas that will inform all other sections, if only implicitly:
- over riding theme and approach: The Reputation Economy of Academia To a large degree, libraries are what our patrons believe us to be. We must both get their attention and convince them we have something to offer.
- Most transformational thing coming down the pipe: mobile & ubiquitous computing
Chapter 2: Environment Scan: Kids today & Changes in Higher Education
- Some of the expectations that the coming waves of Digital Natives will bring to higher education, both as students and later as faculty. main source here is probably Born Digital and various Pew & OCLC reports
- A brief discussion of trends affecting higher education as a whole, mostly technological and pressure on higher ed to be more efficient, effective and market driven, challenges from online universities, challenges to tenure model. What do people really want out of higher ed: self-directed career training vs. exporation of ideas
Chapter 3: The Wealth of Networks
- A brief look at the social networking and media landscape with new media business models, crowdsourcing, social networking. Main sources: various books & articles including, well, The Wealth of Networks, Everything is Miscellaneous, Free, Here Comes Everybody
- abundance instead of scarcity
Chapter 4: Scholarly Communications & Publishing
- what is scholarly publishing?
- what are articles going to become
- how are they going to be published/disseminated
- calculating research impact
- open access tipping points?
- blogs, wikis, open science/open scholarship
- data data data: something separate or something integrated
- digital humanities
- university presses
Part II: My Job in 10 Years (about 35% of the book)
Each of these chapters will look at an area of our jobs and how it might change. Each section will emphasize preparing yourself for the changes. An emphasis on what functions will be new and what functions will be left behind, ie. text book reserves
Chapter 5: Collections
- Preparing for the post-stuff library
- direct implications of Free business models
- local collections: archives & special collections (can libraries be museums, too)
- What, if any, stuff will we purchase and license. What’s worth paying for. Books, journals, A&I, data, other stuff.
Chapter 6: Reference
- adapting to shift to mobile computing — ours and theirs
- Death of the reference desk?
- range of delivery methods
- blended models/deprofessionalization
Chapter 7: Instruction
- we are in a golden age of instruction
- curriculum integration, partnerships with faculty
- how to gain credibility: use other areas to get in on curriculum vs. using IL as a way to engage faculty about other things
- range of delivery methods
Chapter 8: Research Support
- embedded librarians, publishing (hosting journals, etc), data curation/ cyberinfrastructure
- importance of embedding IL into research, not just teaching
- curating institutional content, ie. blogs
- curating disciplinary content, ie. repositories, archival blogs, etc
Chapter 9: Outreach, Liaison and Marketing
- these activities can market, support, expand other activities: instruction, research support, etc
- don’t be passive waiting for people to ask you to help
- promoting the library, engaging faculty & campus communities
- engage: students, faculty, administrators, staff, alumni, donors
Part III: My job as a advocate for a better library (about 35%)
In a collegial academic environment, part of my job is to partake in governance for the library and the institution as a whole.
Chapter 10: Physical Spaces
- three c’s of physical space: collaboration, content creation and contemplation
- cafes, learning commons, function space
- reclaiming collections space
- renovate, renovate, renovate: be THE place on campus
- adapting to shift to mobile computing
Chapter 11: Virtual Spaces
- What’s a library web site for? Will they even still exist? Discovery at the network level. Impact of mobile and ubiquitous computing (ie. mobile will be ubiquitous) , social networks, live web, social search.
- May actually make sense to talk about a lot of this in the first section.
- being a change agent for scholarly publishing
- Semantic web, linked data
- supporting open scholarship (ie. open science, digital humanities, etc)
- cradle to grave research support systems
Chapter 12: Professional development and LIS education for the Future
- what library schools should do to prepare new librarians
- what strategies professionals should employ to keep up with trends and be ready for the changes that will come. The focus for professionals will be to keep up with what’s happening in the world of our patrons, both students and faculty.
- I’ll look at some specific books, blogs, etc as well as more general strategies for things such as conference attendance. Also, list all the books and reports I compiled
- This chapter will also cover the research and publishing that academic librarians do themselves.
Chapter 13: managing and staffing the library of the future
- being a manager & a leader in transformational times
- given what we’ve talked about above, imagine how a 50 librarian/100 staff member institution could be deployed, job by job. Two or three examples, some with branches, some not.