Thursday, 30 August 2012

Thing 16: Advocacy, speaking up for the profession, and getting published

Not so long ago I heard a university physicist say he never went near the university library as all the scholarly journal articles he wanted to read were online.

How can such an intelligent person be so dumb?

Journal articles are not routinely available as a free-for-all on the internet. The reason he is able to access such publications as Nuclear Armageddon Weekly and Nerd News et al is because the library - on his behalf - has negotiated a subscriptions package to all these journals, for anyone using a university computer, or his own laptop with a university login.

Yet he is not alone in being totally oblivious of this service the library is providing for him.

Hence the need for advocacy of the profession as the CPD 23 blog (Lauren Smith) details:

It's increasingly important for people working in library and information roles to be able to explain and express the value of their service – what it does that benefits users, how it can help non-users, how it can add value to the organisation it's in, and so on, in order to serve as many people as possible, meet their needs as well as possible and crucially, to ensure that we've got enough of a budget to do all the things we need to do.'
So as I approach my return to work after our annual summer break, I'm going to be reflecting more on:
  • Consider why it's important to advocate for the section of library and information sector that you work for or want to work in.
  • If you haven't been involved in advocacy, reflect on what your skills are (or which you want to develop), what you're most passionate about and think about what you might be able to do.

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