Advancement from an Academic Point of View

By Schulman, Sandy | Information Today, June 1997 | Go to article overview

Advancement from an Academic Point of View


Schulman, Sandy, Information Today


Sandy Schulman is vice president of sales and marketing at NewsNet, a Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania-based electronic news and information provider. She can be reached by e-mail at sandy@newsnet.com or sandyschu@aol.com.

The challenges facing academic and corporate librarians are similar

In December of last year I explored the changing role of librarians and automation within corporate environments (IT December 1996, "The Systems Librarian: Corporate Librarians on the Leading Edge"). I recently decided to examine the same topic through the eyes of a university systems analyst and a vendor specializing in working with academic institutions. I'm sure many of you won't be surprised to learn that the challenges faced by many academics are similar to those of their corporate brethren.

Corporate and academic librarians face the same challenge of working with, and staying ahead of, user populations that are increasingly computer literate and have access to almost unlimited sources of information via the Web. In both types of environments, a well-trained professional librarian can guide the user to meaningful, reliable information. However, in order to be successful in these times, librarians have to be better prepared technologically than their predecessors ever dreamed of.

Technologically Astute Users Influence More Decisions

Kathie Marvin, who holds an M.L.S. degree from Syracuse University and is now a lead systems analyst in the administrative computing department of West Chester University, West Chester, Pennsylvania, said that "the systems librarian has to be even more technologically astute in many different areas than we were before. Our users, and end users, are becoming more and more technically knowledgeable with time. They know how to use more systems and also find out about new systems and new technology quicker than in the past. We have to keep ahead of our users so we may provide the best possible help and advice on systems."

Also, in years past, libraries made their own decisions regarding which systems and software packages to purchase. But, as Marvin pointed out, the tables are turning: "I think, too, that our users have more influence now in what systems we purchase and install, especially on the PC level."

As a member of the SSHE -(State System of Higher Education, Pennsylvania) shared system project, in which the libraries have contracted for shared database access and have also agreed to share the same integrated library, automation system, Marvin has first-band experience addressing the issues facing herself and her colleagues in keeping up with new technology and meeting the growing requirements of students, faculty, and others associated with the university.

Jane Burke, president of Endeavor Information Systems, Inc., of Rosemont, Illinois, a company specializing in automation systems for academic institutions, shares Marvin's perspective on the changing role of the systems librarian within an academic environment. Burke suggested that "over the past two to three years, as the technology used in library systems is becoming more alike (with the introduction of the Web and with more PCs taking the place of terminals), systems librarians will have to give away much of their traditional power and expertise to the user. Until now, it was their responsibility to manage the systems, and no one else could change a parameter. As public service and cataloging librarians have become more technically literate, the systems librarian's role is one of technology-cheerleader, charged with moving staff along competently and quickly."

Following along with Marvin's assessment of staying technologically ahead of users, Burke explained, "as vendors are reengineering for open systems, the systems librarian must learn PC software in-depth, investing the time to learn how to create custom reports and analyses. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Advancement from an Academic Point of View
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.