Here I was, waiting for the ultimate reveal at the Library Journal sponsored symposium at McMaster. The future of academic librarianship…cue drums…*drum roll*…
Yes! I hope? Maybe? Not? Wait…Yes! Oh no wait…possibly?
Alright, I admit, I went to the symposium and honestly, I embraced it for what it was..no, not a crystal ball in to the future, but rather a lively discussion between professionals and people involved in the field. Who really knows what holds in the future? The panel of students and faculty was interesting contrast, with the students being very frank and honest while the faculty member maintaining a more professional manner. I always appreciate when students come out to speak and take the time to give us feedback on what we’re doing. A lot of what the students were saying only confirmed what I knew, they start their research in course readers/course management systems like Moodle or WebCT. I really appreciated one of the audience members inquiry into asking survey questions about where students start their research. I agree that we should also look at where students spend a majority of their time during research.
I think (for me at least), the most interesting part of the symposium (and I wish we had more time for it), was hearing what other librarians had to say and catching up with other librarians I know from other institutions. As a limited term appointment (LTA) librarian, it was nice to compare notes and experiences with other LTAs at other institutions to talk about the job market and our new experiences. I find that I always learn something new and get new ideas through discussion (the extrovert in me?). I really do wish, lunch was allotted for discussion with the people around us, not some marketing ploy by Gale/Cengage.
Generally, I’d say, it was worth hearing what people have to say. I went in as a blank slate, took notes, thought about what other people and librarians had to say and felt challenged in how I perceive the library today and tomorrow.