How did we end up this way?

Tyler Rousseau has a great post over at Library Garden in which he asks:

But how did we get to this stage? Why do we have professional librarians who refuse to keep up with the professional and technological requirements? How did we reach a point where the patrons' needs were less important than the traditional way of doing things?

He is referring to the Librarian’s 2.0 Manifesto written by Laura Cohen.

Tyler is confused as to why we need to put something like this in writing and I agree with him! How did a profession that was one of the first to use the Internet and WWW become one that is so fearful of change and technology? How is it that our librarians have fallen behind the times so quickly? And why do battles have to be fought for what’s best for the patron?

And so I grow frustrated when I read the goals and responsibilities of the 2.0 Librarian, it should’ve been part of our profession all along.

I’m with you Tyler. I wish I had an answer to your question – or a relief to your frustration – but the most I can give you now is hopefully a bit of comfort in the fact that you’re not alone out there.


  1. I have to agree. How does it look to the outside world when a manifesto includes such statements as ‘I will not fear Google…’. Could you imagine walking into a doctor’s office and seeing a note on the wall reminding him/her to keep up with the latest technologies and to not fear change? Have we forgotten what it means to be a profession?

  2. That is such a great comparison!! It touches on one of the other points I make over and over – other professions also require that you take continuing ed – why don’t we?

  3. I wrote the Manifesto that Tyler was referring to. In response to his post, I attempted to answer his questions on my blog.

  4. Some have a hard time moving to Library 2.0 when there are staff who resist even serving the patron in standard 1.0 ways i.e. loosening the “us vs. them” controlling policies and rules.

  5. Well – that’s the point. The question isn’t why do people resist Library 2.0 – it’s why is it that we have fallen so behind the times. If everyone were required to keep up and take continuing ed then new technological moves would not be so scary.

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