Monday, May 17, 2010

UL's Corner: San Diego

In his keynote address at the Irvine Assembly on the future of librarianship at UC on May 6, Brian Schottlaender, UL at UC San Diego, discussed some issues that have appeared in our ongoing discussion. First, the indication is that the system is rapidly running out of physical space for its collection and for this reason as well as for increased efficiency, the trend is for shared repositories among libraries. A new entity is emerging called the "collective collection" which links together shared repositories. While offering some promise, the collectivization of materials raises numbers of significant questions about responsibility, decision-making and vast logistical problems that include matters of access and permanence. (One study suggests that exactly 11 copies of a document assure its permanence!) One example of the collective collection is the Western Regional Storage Trust (WEST) composed of the UC as well as other major universities and extending to Canada.

Brian also discussed the profile of the future librarian. The qualities that have appeared in other discussions of this topic have now been amplified to an almost superhuman level of capability and diversity. The future librarian will be a generalist with multiple advanced credentials, versatile, self-motivated, a team player, possessed of good technological and communicative skills, comfortable with business models and adept at strategic and tactical thinking. These qualities have been distilled from a number of studies. The powerpoint slides from Brian's presentation can be viewed here:

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