Thoughts and Meditations
Our contributors and columnists have clearly given their words much thought this month. And as a result, the issue gives you much to think about as the year 2010 draws to a close.
Some may well say, good riddance, since this was by no means a year that favored libraries and librarians, who were challenged to make more and more out of less and less.
It is no secret that digital pundits poke jabs at libraries all the time. Who needs a librarian when I’ve got Google, Bing, and every book ever written on a server somewhere? Or so they say.
What’s equally sad is that librarians have in recent years come to doubt their own relevance. As one of our authors observes this month, librarians should not have to question the value of their own profession.
Yet, when all the world seems to be questioning both the institution and the profession, what should librarians do?
Our contributors suggest not surrendering to technology, stressing core skills, defending the publishing traditions that make it possible to lend content, and maybe switching the print model to a brave new digital paradigm.
I can’t do all the position statements justice in this brief synopsis. It’s an issue you’re simply going to have to read cover to cover.
After reviewing all of the statements myself, the only thing I could think to add was, “Librarians! Head for the light.” So we put “a light at the end of the tunnel” on the cover along with the keyword “Potential.”
It is our sincere hope that 2011 will be a year in which librarians hold their heads high again and when libraries emerge triumphant from their current trials.
Happy New Year.
Dick Kaser, Executive Editor