A well-respected colleague recently requested help writing a job decription for a new librarian role: Publisher of Community. I couldn’t help but think about content creation and user-generated content. I have been creating content for my school library for 20 years, through producing a weekly edited news show called “EETV” for Ethridge Elementary TV. The show has evolved from old VHS format to DVD and mp4 (among other file types). So, content creation has been a part of librarianship for decades. However, user-generated content shared online has been growing like crazy since Youtube launched.
The core values of librarianship promote acquisition of the best content available and much of the user-generated content we find online today hardly qualifies as even watchable.
Our culture is becoming, we all know, a participatory one. The library stacks are no longer perceived as top dog in information. What Melvil Dewey called “man’s heroic deeds” in the literature of the 800 section has been pushed back behind Pinterest and Instagram.
I enjoyed the blogpost from Michael Stephens contemplating new roles for librarians. The online name I chose for myself, Valibrarian, is out-dated but (I hope) remains quaint. We do need new titles that emphasize services we provide with better nomenclature! One of my favorite metaphors for a library is that of a garden. One of Ranganathan’s 5 laws for library science stated that “a library is a growing organism”. I am remindeed of how the gardener plants and weeds. So, I thought about the word horticulturist or agriculturist.
Here’s a nomination for a librarian job title: infoculturist. Whaddaya think? Any more ideas?