New Article In C&RL News!

Catherine Johnson, Carissa Tomlinson and I just got published in the most recent issue of C&RL News. Our article is called In the spirit of Benjamin Franklin: 13 virtues of the next-gen librarian. It is an adaptation from the presentation that we did at ACRL last spring. Here’s a brief excerpt:

“In terms of librarianship then, what are the qualities that academic librarians today should possess to be successful in their careers and in serving their users? In the spirit of Franklin, these are a proposed list of virtues of next-gen librarians. Franklin used his virtues to grow as an individual. These virtues can be used as a tool to guide our self improvement as librarians in the 21st century, though they aren’t limited to that purpose. They can also be used by administrators to determine the qualities that they want in new hires, or by job seekers determining the culture of an institution. They can be used in evaluating managers or directors. The uses are myriad, but ultimately they are qualities that we should all strive for as next-gen librarians.”

If you have thoughts about any of the virtues or ones that should be added or removed, I’d love to hear them.


In the Spirit of Ben Franklin: 13 Virtues of Next Gen Librarians

benjamin franklin statue

image by Michael Parker on wikimedia commons

The ACRL national conference is upon us once again. If you’re going to the city of brotherly love, I’d like to invite you to come check out a panel that I am on with two amazing librarians. Carissa Tomlinson is an emerging technologies librarian at Towson University, and Catherine Johnson is an instruction and reference librarian at the University of Baltimore.

WhatIn the Spirit of Ben Franklin: 13 Virtues of Next Gen Librarians

Where: Philadelphia Convention Center, room 201 B/C

When: Thursday, March 31st at 10:30am

We’ll be talking about what a next-gen librarian is and what sort of virtues they should aspire to. But we won’t have the last word. In this interactive (hopefully really fun) session, we’re going to ask for your feedback and come up with other virtues together. Folks can participate in the conversation by using the Twitter hashtag #libvirtues. Here are just a couple example of virtues that we will be discussing:

Flexibility: Librarians can’t afford to be myopic or stubborn in this current environment. Things are constantly changing — not just technology but also things like publishing models. The Harper Collins fiasco is just one example. In order to be well positioned in the future and avoid becoming obsolete, next-gen librarians will need to have the ability to quickly adapt to all the changes going on around us.

Courage: Next-gen librarians are going to be folks who need to take risks. Inventing the future of librarianship won’t always be easy, and sometimes it may be scary. But in order to best serve our users, we are going to have to work on getting over the fear of failure and doing awesome things in spite of that fear.

Hopefully this peaks your interest and gets the wheels turning in your brain about what sort of qualities are necessary in the current era of librarianship. We’ll be asking audience members to propose their own virtues, so get thinking. See you in Philadelphia!