brettsegmented asked: You make me a wary of becoming a librarian. Do you think librarians will be obsolete?
No I don’t think Librarians will become obsolete, just different… evolved. The role of curator and archivist of physical material will still be there just the user/consumer need will be different. Emphasis and access will be different. Billions of print books will remain as “original source” and need to be cared for and cataloged. A perfect digital copy is still a copy.
Librarians may play more of a role in tagging digital data for more effective scholarly navigation. They may also play a more aggressive acquisition role. The more eBooks are sold as primary reading format print runs will shrink making acquiring print editions more difficult and competitive.
Also as e-reading becomes more and more ubiquitous the demand for digital ephemera will increase. Users will begin to expect and demand access to archives of ads, catalogs, press releases, local commercials and newscasts, and all sorts of other means of print and video content.Really I see the pool of metadata needing to be cataloged, curated, converted and made accessible to the local community only increasing.
So much of the current schema and taxonomy being used today to sell ebook editions of Stieg Larsson came out of the library and educational marketplace. The standards and discipline for tagging metadata for research are very different than the standards for trade publishing.
More librarians may work virtually from home. Physical libraries may begin to look more like climate controlled warehouses for storage. They might resemble Starbucks, with comfy sofas and monitors to provide access to the cloud from a mall storefront. They could be download stations like a RebBox video vending machine with mobile connections were you can plug in your e-reader and check out a book from even the remotest village.
But no Librarians won’t become obsolete, I think there will always be Librarians, I just don’t know what shape. The opportunities are more wide open and just waiting to be defined. We are just waiting for young leaders to help show the way.