On Friday, October 1, for our first lecture of the Spring 2010 Luncheon Lecture Series, Dr. Blaise Cronin, the Dean of the Indiana University School of Library & Information Science. Dr. Cronin shared a great deal of insight with us regarding the state and progress of our vibrant field. His talk was entitled “A Post-professional, Post-physical, Post-institutional Future?” Download the powerpoint | See Dean Cronin’s talk on YouTube.edu
Past predications assumed that information scientists and librarians would stagnate and disappear by the beginning of this century. Instead, they are progressive, and the need for them is expanding. Our heterogenic field is composed of various associations and people of differing backgrounds. There is some criticism that there is a gap between theory in library school and practice in the actual workplace, and Dean Cronin asked us to consider if we find this a valid criticism. If we do feel it is so, we should be speaking with our professors and finding a way to address this gap. The library continues to be a part of the university, but its role will change in the future. People are creating information for free (Wikipedia) and making it free (open access). The Internet has opened information pathways so that many feel free to express themselves regardless of not being a designated “expert.” In order to keep pace with current society, Cronin feels that libraries will have to become personalized, become persistent (24-hour), make content mobile, find better ways to distribute content, use branding, and utilize e-metrics.