Overview of content related to 'research' http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/taxonomy/term/15595/all?article-type=&term=&organisation=&project=&author=john%20azzolini&issue= RSS feed with Ariadne content related to specified tag en Book Review: The Embedded Librarian http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue70/azzolini-rvw <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser-article"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="/issue70/azzolini-rvw#author1">John Azzolini</a> reviews a comprehensive overview of embedded librarianship, a new model of library service that promises to enhance the strategic value of contemporary knowledge work.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Librarianship as a profession is confronting a growing demand to prove its worth. Library patrons expect utility. The organisations that fund them pre-suppose a contribution to their bottom lines.</p> <p>The calls for this proof come from librarians themselves as much as from their employers. And the tone of the questioning is persistent if not redundant. It can be distilled to a fundamental query: Can the library sustain its basic mission of effectively and efficiently fulfilling its users' information needs given the technological, social, and economic developments that are transforming how people interact with data, documents, and each other?</p> <h2 id="Librarianship:_In_Search_of_the_Value_Proposition">Librarianship: In Search of the Value Proposition</h2> <p>These transformations have been occurring for some time, in different areas of living and working. Though not flowing from a single source, for librarians the impacts from these changes have seemingly converged on their profession as if they were collusive forces.</p> <p>A global financial crisis and its lingering downturns have resulted in deeper budget cuts for many departments in every type of institution, public and private. A rising trend toward direct information consumption has caused many everyday users as well as executives to believe that removing librarians from the knowledge cycle is the next logical step. Caught within the sights of cost-conscious decision makers, libraries and information centres have become vulnerable to downsizing.</p> <p>Students enter universities - even secondary schools - wedded unconsciously to their handhelds, always connected, assuming unmitigated and near-immediate digital satisfaction for their knowledge wants. Most of them were born into this socio-technical life-world as if it were a natural order. They know and expect nothing else. In such an environment, librarians orchestrate access but need not be confronted. They maintain crucial databases and finding aids, but can do so unseen and disembodied. They can be relegated to infrastructural innards.</p> <p>For-profit organisations, the home of law firm and business librarians, are looking upon the outsourcing of support staff with increasing favour. And while library positions have not yet been handed over wholesale to third-party providers, there is industry trepidation that it could move in that direction. The threat is vague but distinctly present.</p> <p>Many have taken to the outlets of library opinion and prediction, warning of impending disintermediation and possible obsolescence if the field fails to embrace drastic changes in how it carries out its service mission. Blogs, journals, and conferences are animated with calls to re-conceptualise philosophies and re-direct core methods. Some commentators merely emit distress signals on behalf of the library community. They are invocations of crisis without even a stab at real solutions. Others, however, are serious attempts to map out alternative pathways to a more stable occupational future. These need to be reckoned with.</p> <p>A common path taken by the more constructive endeavours is demonstrating how librarianship can re-establish its value in a rapidly changing environment. This value is understood to be the knowledge-creating and disseminating efficacies that libraries bring to their users more ably and with less cost than other institutions. Since libraries are housed and financially supported by parent organisations of some kind, the value is usually construed as a combination of business and mission-relevant attributes. The emphasis on mission may be more pronounced in academic and public libraries, while corporate and firm libraries stress the financial aspects, but it is ultimately about how management assesses the library's contributions to the organisation's long-term integrity. Granted, the value has a large practical component for a library's patrons; the direct benefits are the answers, leads, and guidance they obtain when visiting the reference desk or searching the collections. However, the final criterion for most libraries will be the value proposition attributed to them by upper-level decision makers. User satisfaction is a valuable standard, but in the end it is often translated into a determination of whether the library produces distinct results in light of the resources devoted to maintaining it.</p> <p>A concrete attempt to re-assert the business and service value of librarians has been the adoption of the practice model known as embedded librarianship. Although it has been applied in libraries in one form or another for a few decades - without necessarily using the word ‘embedded’ - only in the past several years has it risen to widespread notability. Judging by the upsurge in professional discussions and published cases devoted to this approach, librarians of many types are expressing keen interest in the value-enhancing potential of embedding themselves. Its contemporary significance is fully examined by David Shumaker in <em>The Embedded Librarian: Innovative Strategies for Taking Knowledge Where It's Needed</em>. The author, an associate professor at The Catholic University of America's School of Library and Information Science in Washington, D.C., is a well-known chronicler of embedded practices. This book is the field's first attempt at a comprehensive review of embedded librarianship's shared features, variable manifestations, and elements for success among major types of libraries.</p> <p></p><p><a href="http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue70/azzolini-rvw" target="_blank">read more</a></p> issue70 review john azzolini clifford chance blog cataloguing data database digital library framework higher education research search technology standards Thu, 13 Dec 2012 22:32:15 +0000 lisrw 2413 at http://www.ariadne.ac.uk Book Review: The Future of Archives and Recordkeeping http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue68/azzolini-rvw <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser-article"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="/issue68/azzolini-rvw#author1">John Azzolini</a> reviews an anthology of perceptive essays on the challenges presented to archival thought and practice by Web 2.0, postmodern perspectives, and cross-disciplinary interchanges.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Librarians, archivists, and records managers do not share identical challenges or controversies in their practical endeavours or theoretical queries. However, a common issue for all the information professions and a dominating topic of discussion in their literature is the fundamental change in the structure and distribution of knowledge caused by mass digitisation. The proliferation of daily digital content, in quantity, reach, and manifestation, is confronting them all with a disquieting role ambiguity. The expanding tools and expectations of Web 2.0 have made this self-questioning a recurrent one, but they have also stimulated invigorating debate on the purpose and direction of these fields. The perception is one of extraordinary change initiated by emerging technologies, unprecedented knowledge production and dissemination, and a new centralised role for the information user. In these galvanising changes leading library and archives practitioners are sensing opportunities for confirming the professions’ relevance, in the estimation of other scholarly disciplines and of society at large, but, perhaps most of all, in their own eyes as well.</p> <p></p><p><a href="http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue68/azzolini-rvw" target="_blank">read more</a></p> issue68 review john azzolini clifford chance archives blog cataloguing digital library digitisation dissemination facebook flickr framework knowledge management metadata personalisation preservation provenance research semiotic twitter vocabularies web 2.0 wiki youtube Tue, 08 Nov 2011 14:50:08 +0000 lisrw 1689 at http://www.ariadne.ac.uk Book Review: Envisioning Future Academic Library Services http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue67/azzolini-rvw <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser-article"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="/issue67/azzolini-rvw#author1">John Azzolini</a> reviews a timely collection of essays that highlights the values of institutional leadership and resourcefulness in academic librarianship's engagements with Web 2.0.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Since networked information technology has initiated a breathtaking transformation of knowledge practices, librarians have had a generous supply of thought leaders whose lifetime experience has permitted them to issue credible translations of the 'writing on the wall'. Recently, however, there seems to be many more analysts (and soothsayers) and much more anxious observation and published interpretation of such writing. And the message comes in a red ink, in bold, and with distinct portent, when not downright ominous.</p> <p><a href="http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue67/azzolini-rvw" target="_blank">read more</a></p> issue67 review john azzolini british library clifford chance google university of melbourne yale university bibliographic data blog cataloguing copyright curation data data management data set digital library digitisation disruptive innovation dissemination ebook framework higher education ict knowledge management mobile muves open access personalisation preservation research search technology second life web 2.0 Sun, 03 Jul 2011 23:00:00 +0000 editor 1632 at http://www.ariadne.ac.uk