“Remember – there is always a customer”

When David Lankes presented his vision of new librarianship at Internet Librarian International, he spoke about changing the conceptual mindsets of librarians.  This involves moving away from ‘lending’ models and embracing sharing models where librarians help their communities grow and learn by providing connections as much as collections.

David also expressed his dislike of the word ‘users’, with its emphasis on an almost passive consumption of resources.  His expressed his preference for the word ‘members’ – a statement which created much discussion, debate (and some dissent) at the conference.

Similar themes emerged at the latest Sue Hill Recruitment (SHR) networking breakfast meeting.   Information professionals in a range of sectors discussed some major shifts and trends which will continue to impact information services in 2013 – from ‘the information chain fallout’ of Open Access to funding shortfalls.

Another topic was a perceived backlash against big IT projects, brought about by a mixture of overhype, poor specification and/or management processes and poor value for money.  There was a genuine feeling that the ‘new’ landscape, in which budgets were tight or even non-existent, would provide exciting opportunities to do things differently and that information teams would have more freedom to create solutions, rather than waiting for IT-driven projects to take the lead.

What really matters is how we help others manage and succeed in 2013 and beyond.  And – no matter what we call them, as one fellow breakfaster said – “Remember – there is always a customer”

(Read SHR’s Suzanne Wheatley’s thoughts on the breakfast meeting.)

About Val Skelton

I am the editor of Information Today, Europe. On the main site, we cover news and publish feature articles by information, research and knoweldge practitioners and thought leaders. On this blog, we aim to cover other topics of interest to our readers.

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