Traits of the 20th and 21st Century Librarian

LisNews recently had two rather volatile posts that I enjoyed. It listed some unfortunate Traits of the 20th Century Librarian and hoped for Traits of the 21st Century Librarian.

The primary difference seemed to be the focus on age and unwillingness to embrace new anything. Is it slightly broad sweeping? Yes. Are there items on that list that are a little too familiar when speaking of some librarians that I’ve dealt with? Also yes.

I come from a lifelong learning home. Education, although formally ending a little over two years ago, has never come to a complete halt. There are too many exciting new things to embrace. While I identify myself as less likely to embrace certain trends (such as living solely on text messages and Twitter), I do at least try to keep current on what’s out there. Recent experiences and the recent reflections of a few other bloggers point out to me that apparently this makes me unusual. Blank looks, astonishment and “well, she’s young” seems more par for the course.

It’s a challenge to try to stay current, even using aggregators and RSS feeds, but it seems so worth it. The wealth of information available that we can weed through, read through, and gain others’ opinions on is so vital to keeping current. Easier and cheaper (though not a replacement for) journals, available 24/7 with computer and Internet access. I hope we continue towards the trends for the 21st century librarians and don’t get caught reverting to the negative outlooks we see in the unfortunate stereotypes of our past.