Casey Bisson’s contribution to a recent piece in The Chronicle of Higher Education about the future of librarianship:
I don’t have a library-science education. I have an IT background. My undergrad was in English, but I have been employed as an IT person since then and have slowly made my way to libraries. I’m not sure that library science is as technically demanding as it should be for the challenges that new graduates will face. That was a discussion that was on a number of e-mail groups that I’m in. We face recent graduates who don’t have any experience in relational database design, and we expect them to understand how to choose a technology plan or choose technologies that will control their ability to serve users, and there is not enough knowledge in libraries to build that.
We’ve done no research and development in libraries — over the past 18 months there has been a blossoming of research and development, but before that we outsourced that to vendors.… We’ve outsourced the innovation. And because we only compare libraries against libraries and not against Google or anything else, we think we’re doing great. And Google says, “Yes, they are,” then takes all of our users. We need some very, very skillful new blood.
I’m not saying I’m that blood (not yet, maybe), but I absolutely, 100% agree with his point.