Libraries have a very heavy and weighted history with a very distinct role in society’s psyche. This role is very much focused upon the book. I’m not saying this is correct or in anyway accurate however the overarching role is focused upon books. You may disagree with me but if you do I want to ask you one question:
When you tell someone what you do how often is the response something along the lines of ’So you must like reading then!’
Even today the bizarre although inaccurate equation still sticks: library/librarian = books.
This isn’t a bad thing. As members of the library and information profession we help people to access book stored information which they may not otherwise have the opportunity to access. But this is only a small element of what we do. To ease that awareness of what we do within the modern society I think we need to adjust the overarching label for your services. Yes that’s right – change the name.
This may (or isn’t) appropriate for a lot of people however for people like me within the corporate library field I’m becoming more and more aware of the necessity to come out of the library shadow. Whilst I would be sad about no longer be known as a Librarian or someone who works in the library, I believe, it would help me and people in similar positions to become more embedded within the organisation. To be able to apply our unique and very relevant skills in areas where they previously haven’t been applied. Now I’m not saying this isn’t occurring at present (it is – I see and do it every day!) however I do think that further could be done by taking away the automatic assumptions associated with being a library in a corporate environment.