Thursday 26 March 2020

Librarians are trained to work effectively in a climate of ambiguity!

In the library and information world, who could have predicted a few months ago that organisations would be pushed to change so rapidly; the genie is out of the bottle. Even if ‘eventually’ is now, it isn’t too late to prepare because I suspect that we have a long way to go; the effects of this pandemic will be prolonged and far reaching. As one historian wrote recently,
Pandemics have had profound effects on human populations throughout history, triggering societal upheaval, shaping migration patterns, and fundamentally altering social development.
And in the midst of this upheaval, who better to turn to than information people and their library management skills? According to the Competency Index for the Library Field (2014) on page 12, there is a section on how a librarian “Anticipates and adapts to change and challenges effectively”: 

  • Embraces and adapts to change with curiosity and enthusiasm
  • Works effectively in a climate of ambiguity and changing priorities
  • Anticipates future trends and recommends changes in priority or direction in alignment with organisational goals
  • Explores and adopts new technologies for their potential to deliver new ideas, products and services
  • Recommend and takes reasonable risks to test implementations of change

Immediately below this is a section on change which demonstrates that we are well equipped to address the challenges, and implement the rapid change required to deal with this current pandemic.

It states that “change is the only constant and continuous learning is at the center of library culture”. It continues, “remaining relevant and central to our communities requires innovation”. Crucially, in my view it says “innovation is inherently a learning process [and] individuals who thrive in this environment embrace ongoing change and are focused not only on the present, but also on the future”.

Interesting times indeed! For the full blogpost, visit Vable's current awareness strategy blog!

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