Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer Projects: Wishlist and Actual

The college recently switched to its summertime four-day work week. This means that the library is now closed Fridays through Sundays until August, and that the Monday through Thursday work days are extended. Summer academic semesters are in session, but the campus is a lot quieter than usual. As I adjust to the schedule change, I remember that suddenly there is time for reflection and planning during these longer days.

And as I get older, I am becoming more appreciative of planning. Not to be unpatriotic, but I am getting weary of the short-term thinking that accompanies experimentation and innovation. And if librarianship is going to exist for the long term, and not be supplanted by the Internets, it is a good idea to invest in long-term strategy. Each library is unique, and this will echo much of what is in the professional literature, but here are areas that that seem important to the future of academic librarianship from where I'm sitting:
  • Information technology. No kidding, right? I'm referring to the ways technology is adopted institutionally, rather than the fads that come and go. This means that collaboration with those who work on the systems is crucial. 
  • Distance learning. (I am still trying to figure out why instructional designers didn't think it was important to fully integrate our online resources and services into the online classroom.)
  • The publishing ecosystem. Most companies that distribute online resources seem to be ignoring the library model in favor of one-on-one relationships with customers. This is not just bad for libraries, but ultimately bad for customers who are prevented from sharing.
In an attempt to match the above, here's what I'm putting on my to-do list in the near term:
  • Codecademy seems like a good way to spend some hours in my office; so does testing our EDS, which is scheduled to be live for the fall semester. Also, I *still* need to learn more about our ILS.
  • There is a WebStudy conference at the end of June. Even if I can't go, I'll be paying attention.
  • It's really time to educate myself about what the Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iPad, Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader, etc. can and can't do for staff and patrons, particularly on campus.
  • (I would like to include Open Access here, but I can't figure out what I should be doing personally, and there are already plenty of other librarians involved, so I'll leave it to them for the time being.)
I have a feeling summer will pass too quickly!

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