Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A New Breed of Librarian

Modern librarians must wield many simultaneous skills to deliver informational resources to those in need.  Increasingly, this requires sophisticated acumen in Internet research, website management, online social media, ebooks (or other emedia), database maintenance, digitization, and metadata coding.  Such librarians could be called webrarians, given their frequent use of web-based technologies.

My Library now has one of these librarian types.  Can you guess who it is? Allow moi to give a hint.

That Trademark Scowl

Five years ago (almost to the day), Scowl-Face was hired at MPL as the Indiana Room Librarian.  A couple of years later, he also became the Adult Reference Coordinator.  Then, sometime last year, his first title morphed into Indiana Room Historian.  Then the second title (but not the workload) sort of disappeared.  A month ago, he became the new Website & Online Media Manager.  Now he wants to call himself a Webrarian. Suits moi.  I was never much for titles anyway.  One of my minions by any other name, I'd venture.

Ol' Scowlly still oversees the Indiana Room collections, pokes around in collection development, handles our digital camera work (videography and photography), stumbles over reference questions, and does odd bits at circulation.  Plus he is one of my many minions.  That last job duty is most important, surely.

Actually, Scowl-Face would never had undertaken any of this web-based stuff if it hadn't been for Broadway Gal's initiatives begun in late 2009 and early 2010.  She was the driving force launching our presence on YouTube, Blogger, Twitter, Flickr, and other online social media nearly three years ago.  Scowl-Face did a lot of the grunt work, but that's only to be expected.  He grunts an awful lot anyway, no matter what work he's doing.

Broadway Gal also led the charge at our Library into live-action videography.  Everybody knows about her music parody video, Librarians Do Taio Cruz (2010).  Never seen it?  What planet have you been on?

So perhaps Broadway Gal should have been called a webrarian first. Well, she already has a much more important title:  Head of MPL Youth Services.  That's like the number two job (behind Boss Lady) around here. It's like being associate director of the library without more pay.

So ol' Scowlly gets the webrarian moniker.  No new business cards, however.  That costs money, and, frankly, nobody cares what we call him.

Whatever You're Called, Get To Work, Scowl-Face,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Library Staff New

P.S.  Cybrarian is another term used to describe web- or technology-oriented librarians.  Marilyn Johnson wrote a book about them (in part), as our book trailer above elaborates.

P.P.S.  Title Update:  Scowl-Face's official title (as of the end of January, 2013) is information director for adult services.  He's not allowed to use the term librarian in his title because he lacks a Master of Library Science (M.L.S.) degree.  (He has a doctorate, though.)  The title police are really strict in this state!

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