5 Stars

My friend and fellow librarian, Katie B., had a great post on her blog a while back. In it she mentions what 5 library things that excite her these days. I'd thought I'd throw my 5 out there as well.

1. Stereotypes - This is one of those hotly contested "things" going about the library realm. Some people are just sick of all the articles about hot librarians, hipster librarians, trendy librarians, etc., while others, like myself, are in love with it. Frankly, I like to play up (and with) librarian stereotypes. I've just decided to give into the whole young/trendy/hot librarian fad. I'm young, and I own it. I'm a nerd, and I love it. I also say, screw it - if you think librarians wear buns and sensible shoes, than that's what I'm going to do. I own that stereotype. At the same time, I'm one of the younger librarians on staff, and I try to use my age and enthusiasm to show our undergrad patrons that libraries are great places with awesome stuff. We librarians are here to help. If that means using stereotypes to achieve my goals then, gosh darnit, I'm gonna do it. So, shush.

2. Pop Culture Presence - It could be because I look for it, but I've noticed a resurgence of libraries/librarians in popular culture and the press. I loves it. Sometimes it's just a mention here and there, other times they get whole articles and TV shows. If it reminds the public that we exist to do their bidding, I'm all for it.

3. User Centered Service - Why do libraries exist? To connect people with information. Yes, most people still see libraries as book warehouses, but we are so much more than that these days. Libraries have become these hives of information where people buzz around without being shushed. I got into library science because I like to connect people with information. (I was always that girl saying, "Oooo! You'd like this. Here!") While libraries will always house information in some way, they are no longer just these big buildings filled with dusty and old books. Libraries are being designed and remodeled to encourage collaborative learning, information sharing, and community development. Versatility is the new name of the game. Librarians tend to see themselves more as information sherpas, leading their users to their information goal. You are our patrons, we are here to facilitate your information need. Ask me!

4. Information Literacy - I don't need to tell you that we live in an information saturated world. Modern humans encounter more information in one day that previous generations could ever hope to see in their lifetime. To navigate it all, you need to be information literate. Libraries and librarians are making a strong push to encourage information literacy training beginning at a young age. It makes my heart go all aflutter when I think librarians out in the wild telling people how to successfully identify, find, and use information.

5.Shiny! - This could be my inner cat speaking, but I like how libraries are always toying with the newest technologies and tools. Not every library is on the cutting edge, but those that are have a lot of fun with and use for "the coolest new things." Our experiments with the latest shtuff does not always work, but sometimes we can strike it big. (We were digitizing collections and making them searchable before Google. So, ha!) Librarians, for the most part, are not afraid to mess around with the next big thing. It's this fearlessness that I get excited about. You got a new tool, bring it on. I'll see if I can make it work.

What 5 library things have you excited?