University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Counter-Culture: Reshaping Libraries

Law, Derek (2008) Counter-Culture: Reshaping Libraries. [Audio] (Unpublished)

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What should librarian’s be doing in the 21st Century? Certainly not deprofessionalizing and conceding all their skills to Google. This was the main point presented by Professor Derek Law, in the first of a series of occasional lectures arranged by Information and Learning Services.
Professor Law is Head of the Information Resources Directorate at Strathclyde University and has an international reputation in the field of Digital Library Research. Throughout his career he has served on a wide range of national professional public bodies including CILIP, the Scottish Library Association, SCONUL, British Library Advisory Committees, and the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.
In his lecture entitled ‘Counter-Culture: Reshaping Libraries,’ Professor Law interrogated the cultural change within the information world and argued strongly for the vital need to raise the level of the quality of information used by students, thus maintaining and improving the standards of scholarly output. Professor Law emphasised the need for a strong underpinning philosophy of the need for libraries and spoke about the importance of trust metrics by which people could identify key functions and facilities provided by libraries. Citing research undertaken on student information behaviour, Professor Law addressed the need for ‘digital immigrants,’ such as existing librarians, to give thought to the new and reshaped roles that librarians should play, whether in working with library users to improve their information skills or in the management of the digital assets which our institutions increasingly produce. He discussed the paradigm shift in student information seeking and noted the ‘just enough and ‘good enough’ approach which culminates in the ‘google-is-enough’ method of information seeking.
Professor Law concluded with a memorable image, no doubt taken from one of his expeditions, which illustrated the need to, ‘be prepared for the unexpected.’ In terms of librarianship in the 21st century, the pressing need is to both understand the tools used by ‘digital natives’ and to appropriate them when relevant to the dissemination of high level information skills.

Item Type: Audio
Additional Information:

ILS Occasional Lecture, University of Worcester, May 2008
Abstract written by Rachel Johnson, Research Librarian, University of Worcester.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: culture change, libraries, information skills
Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Divisions: Central Services > Library Services
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Daniel Hughes
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2009 08:30
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2021 09:25

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