Librarianship Truisms


Truisms? Those are the ideas and concepts that are perpetually true, regardless of circumstances or time.

1.
My most favorite “truism” which I learned many years ago is that: “Theory without practice is empty and practice without theory is blind.” [Kidd, J. R. (1973). How Adults Learn. New York: Association Press.] In other words, a library science degree alone is not enough to be successful, or even competent, as a 21st Century Librarian. Today’s librarians require additional skills, most of which won’t be taught in Schools of Information Science. [Read Multidisciplinary – A New 21st Century Librarianship Skill]

2.
It seems a no-brainer that librarianship is THE foundation of any library model, regardless of when it exists whether 19th Century or 21st Century. So, to say that “21st Century Librarians Create 21st Century Libraries” is a truism at the heart of 21st Century libraries may seem like another serious no-brainer. But, no one should hope to create a 21st Century Library without first being staffed with 21st Century Librarians. [Read Librarianship Is The Foundation]

3.
If something is worth doing it’s worth doing well – in the case of 21st Century Librarianship – it’s worth doing excellently! That’s what it will require in order for the institution of the library to survive, transform, and reinvent itself into the relevant institution that every community needs. Yes, every community NEEDS A LIBRARY, so….. “Go Big or Go Home!” is another librarianship truism. It’s far past time for visionary leadership and 21st Century librarianship. In the future there is no place for the timid librarian. [Read Go Big or Go Home!]

4.
This truism came from Usher when he accepted his Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist award at last year’s AMA Music Awards Ceremony. Referring to his entire team of collaborators, musicians, supporters, etc. he made a fairly profound statement by recognizing that no individual achieves success alone. And, as artists are prone to do, he did it poetically – “Team work makes dreams work.” The same truism applies to your library’s dreams. Your library team will make your library’s dreams a reality. One leader, no matter how capable or inspiring, cannot achieve a highly successful library for their community by their self alone. It requires every single person within the organization, as well as outside supporters, to achieve the kind of success required for the 21st Century Library to evolve and flourish. [Read “Team Work Makes Dreams Work”]

5.
“Actions speak louder than words.” is a truism that is often applied in any context, but it is especially true regarding librarianship because if you create that ideal 21st Century Library through actions, you will have very little need of words of advocacy or advertisement. Other people will do that for you. The other old truism of “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your doorstep.” is also applicable in building a 21st Century Library. When the library is the best thing in town for information access, maker space, gaming, collaborative environment, or whatever your community needs most, people will beat a path to your library door. [Read Perception 3 – Millennial Thinking]

What truisms do you know that apply to 21st Century Librarianship?

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

2 responses to “Librarianship Truisms

  1. Stephanie

    This isn’t a traditional truism by any stretch, but it should be–diversity of thought is free, but few value and use it. So why do librarians think we all need to agree on everything, including what mindsets and skills a 21st century librarian should have? For heaven’s sake, if we’ve learned anything the past 20 years, it is to get out of our own way (or people will just go around you anyway!).

    • Excellent point. While a “discipline” is mostly defined by its “body of knowledge”, that doesn’t mean everyone must act exactly the same or that every library must operate exactly the same. Creativity and innovation should be the highest valued characteristics of every librarian. Thanks for sharing that additional truism.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s