The Undercover Librarian

Items to Share: A Stealth Librarianship Manifesto

John Dupuis, the head of the Steacie Science & Engineering Library at York University, recently published this on his blog. There’s significantly more to the post than the manifesto itself, and I hope you’ll check his blog to see the full post in context. For interest, however, I’ve posted the basic points below:

  • We must stop going to librarian conferences and instead attend conferences where our patrons will be present.
  • We must stop presenting only to our fellow librarians. That’s what Twitter is for. We must make our case to our patrons on their turf, not make our case to ourselves on our own turf.
  • Where possible, we must collaborate with faculty in presentations.
  • We must stop reading the formal library literature. That’s what librar* blogs are for. We must familiarize ourselves with the literature and scholarly communications ecosystems of our patron communities.
  • We must stop writing the formal library literature. That’s what librar* blogs are for. We must make our case for the usefulness of what we do in the literature of our patron communities.
  • We must stop joining librarian associations. That’s what Friendfeed and Facebook are for. (Go LSW!) We must instead join associations that revolve around our patron communities.
  • We must not segregate ourselves within “library divisions” in those organizations but must partake fully in those associations. As above, this includes conferences and society publications.
  • In terms of engaging faculty at conferences and in the literature, we must engage both their teaching and research roles.
  • We must stop serving on so damn many library committees and make time to sit on committees at all levels of our institutions’ governance structure. It may take time and considerable effort to stealthily insinuate ourselves into all the places we belong.
  • We must invite ourselves to and actively participate in departmental meetings, faculty councils, senates and whatever other bodies make sense.
  • We must integrate ourselves as fully into the teaching mission and classroom environment of our faculty as staffing levels allow. We have much of value to teach their students and can help faculty fulfill their curricular goals.
  • We must fully engage our faculty in the social networking spaces where they live. As well as all the library people we engage, we must also follow and interact with our patrons on Twitter, Facebooks and other sites, where appropriate.

There are some great talking points here, and a lot can be said about each. The folks over at In the Library with the Lead Pipe have started a fairly in-depth conversation about these points, and I encourage you to stop by and have a look.


What’s your take on the original post, and what points would you add to your own manifesto as a library professional?


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This entry was posted on February 25, 2011 by and tagged .
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