Public Libraries as Knowledge Centers August 27, 2006Posted by sharynheili in Uncategorized.
I’ve been pondering an interesting article that I have been reading from the Scandinavian Public Libaries Quarterly by Kirsten Drotner, “Libary Innovation for the Knowledge Society“. As we shift from an information society to a knowledge society, librarians must change, redefine professional roles, and develop professional competencies in collaboration with other knowledge partners.
As the physical library becomes a knowlege center, the librarian in turn becomes a knowledge facilitator, moving around among users offering, as Drotner describes it, “professional experiences and evaluations”. The librarian becomes the users’ literacy partner in pursuit of life-long learning in a multimodal society.
In Drotner’s words, “…first that libraries must move from defining their professional role in terms of providers of information literacy on to a role as multimodal knowledge centres encompassing information as well as entertainment, retrieval as well as production. Second, librarians need to redefine their role in the physical library as facilitators of multimodal literacy and do so in close cooperation with other partners advancing civic society”. Her table below illustrates the changing roles of libraries and librarians as our society has changed.
Library Innovation and Socio-cultural Conditions (Table by Kirsten Drotner)
|Industrial society||Information society||Knowledge society|
|Aim of library use||Cultural discrimination
(taste)Personal relevance of cultural choice
|Universal and free access to
|Universal and free use of information and fiction
|Definition of library/librarian||Cultural custodian
|Information disseminator||Knowledge facilitator|
|Definition of material/content||Material entity, physical artifact||Non-material process
Effective, reliable information processing
|Material artifacts and non-material processes
Information and fiction
|Definition of user||Receiver of choice
|Information producer and evaluator||Knowledge producer, cooperator and cultural citizen|
Read Kirstin Drotner’s complete article here.