Academic journal article Partnership : the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research

Is (Academic) Librarianship Dead?

Academic journal article Partnership : the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research

Is (Academic) Librarianship Dead?

Article excerpt

Since attending the 70th APLA conference in Halifax this June, I have been contemplating the notion that librarianship, specifically academic librarianship, is dying or "in its end game" to quote outgoing APLA president Su Cleyle. My response to this idea is absolutely not. But after three days of meetings and sessions I began to connect the dots and realized that whether you think librarianship is dying a not-so-slow death depends very much on your definition of librarianship.

This conversation that permeated the conference made me think back to when I heard Michael Gorman speak at CLA a few years back. The jist for me was this: If we don't change, but protect our enduring values, it's all over. Perhaps Su Cleyle, Michael Gorman and I simply have different definitions of librarianship. I came to this conclusion as I wandered down Barrington St. in the rain after an Information Literacy Interest Group meeting. I suspect that Cleyle and Gorman's definition may be based on their experiences at larger institutions and their interpretation of librarianship may be a more traditional view of librarianship with focuses on collection development of print resources and staffing the reference desk. I am not implying that either of them is oldfashioned, but that their cause for concern about the profession may be based on different experiences from mine and others.

This was confirmed during one of the many chats I had with President Su, when I explained I was busy with initiatives such as setting up open access journals for faculty members as a hands-on way to teach undergraduates the double blind peer review process. …

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