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Outside the library world

October 12, 2011

This isn’t going to be a long post, but I think it’s important.  Who do you see as a partner for your library, career college or otherwise?

I’ve been thinking about it a lot recently.  At the NCLA conference on Oct 4-7 I sat at a table with some fellow librarians and discussed all the diverse tasks they could do (thank you to those ladies that joined me in that discussion).  A thought slipped into my head like a light on a dimmer, it has since gotten brighter.  Librarians are awesome – I mean you know that, you are one.  We have librarians with HUGE ranges of skill.  Actually I have to honestly wonder if any other profession has this kind of diversity in it.  And we get together in our little groups and think of ways to do things better.  We don’t really have to say, “I don’t know how to do that” because there is probably a librarian you know that does know how to do it.  How awesome!  I mean, we can do anything!!!

Of course the other side of the coin is that we get so comfortable working with others in our field that we don’t spend much time cultivating relationships outside of our little world.  I wonder what our exhibit hall would have looked like if Apple would have been there.  Or Microsoft.  I mean we use their products right??  Oh but they aren’t LIBRARY vendors.  Dude, so what, they are vendors and they have a different perspective on our field that might be valuable to us.  Perhaps that is why we are so misunderstood.  We only spend time talking to each other.  So I present to you a challenge.

Who can we invite into our little world?  What other professions can we cultivate relationships with?  Not a business librarian, just a business professional.  Not a systems librarian, just an IT professional.  Not a marketing librarian, just, well you get the idea.  Are we publishing in their trade publications?  Do we invite them to our conferences?  What hand can we extend and how does that help us as we move to the future?

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