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The future of librarianship with Sherry Gick, Library Journal Mover & Shaker

Sherry Gick, Library and Instructional Technology Specialist, Rossville Consolidated Schools

Sherry Gick, Library and Instructional Technology Specialist, Rossville Consolidated Schools

Recent Mover & Shaker recipient Sherry Gick took the time to answer some questions about where she sees librarianship headed.

As a recognized leader and innovator in our profession you obviously spend time thinking about how we can all better succeed serving our communities. Can you please tell us a little bit of where you see librarianship heading?

Librarians have always been problem solvers in the information world.  I see that continuing but I see the roles and responsibilities of librarians continuing to evolve and expand whether in the public library or school library setting.

How do you balance all the new responsibilities with traditional library work?

This may completely ruffle feathers, but traditional library responsibilities like cataloging and checking out books are ones I don’t even try to balance.  I found out early on in my career that I didn’t want to stand behind a desk checking out books when it was a task that students could do independently.  Our self-checkout station lets students be responsible for this task.  The same is true for cataloging.  Gone are the days of spending hours upon hours cataloging by hand.  Companies make it easy to quickly download MARC records and tweak them for my library collection.  I want to spend my time teaching, connecting,  and working with both students and teachers.  These aren’t “new” responsibilities but I see them as being the most important parts of my job.  It’s not a balance per se, but more of a priority.

Where do you see opportunities for growth?

Opportunities for growth in my library:  adding more opportunities for students and teachers to explore and play!  School has become such a pressure cooker with testing being the key word, I want to expand my program where students are learning but in a non-threatening/non-testing environment.

What should librarians be doing to prepare for the future? Why is that important?

Librarians should be continually learning and connecting with others.  Sharing ideas of what’s working in libraries around the world makes us all stronger.  Preparing for the future is as simple as not being comfortable with status quo.  Continually striving and moving forward should be our motto.  Mahatma Gandhi said it best:  “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”  This should be true for both libraries and librarians.