ILTA White Papers

The New Librarian

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better access to information when properly used, and information is my livelihood. NEW FIRM, NEW PROSPECTS In 2000, I was hired by my present firm as a librarian and intranet developer. The firm did not have an intranet at that time. Since then, we've gone through four generations of intranets, introducing the first SharePoint portal around 2006. I am currently part of the portal advisory team. In 2007, I was offered and added the position of manager of the technology training department to my duties. Some of the same skills I use as a librarian translated very well to training and managing information. I have been taking on a much larger role in project management when we are looking at upgrading or replacing existing products, or introducing new tools for our end users. Being asked to lead some of these efforts is gratifying because it allows me to showcase my skills, it lets me grow professionally, and my firm benefits from it. I believe the organizational structure at Carlton Fields has also helped my career. The librarian reports to the CIO. This structure made sense when the intranet development duties were added to the plate of the librarian. While not being an independent department has some drawbacks, being a part of IT has opened other doors and reduced potential friction. EXPAND YOUR WORLD The need to adapt to a new world is out there for every librarian to see, but some folks respond differently from others. I have been given good opportunities to expand my world, and I have taken them. I can't say that all librarians I know have done so. The pressures we feel to expand our horizons are sometimes due to library-related reasons and sometimes due to financial/organizational reasons (i.e., sometimes a role might be added to a librarian's plate due to potential cost savings to the firm or because of the real or perceived lack of activity in traditional library roles). Changes are occurring in the library environment, and we are busier than ever. Librarians' marked propensity to not self-promote their value and not be very visible in an organization work against us. What we do has changed, but that does not make for less work, just different work. The world around me keeps changing, so I have tried to keep up and make the best of it. You can, too. AALL/ILTA White Paper 51

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