Library 2.013 – An Inside Look at Dr. Hirsh’s Presentation

Published: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 by Kari Van Baalen

Dr. Sandra Hirsh, SLIS director, was one of the keynote speakers at the recent Library 2.013 Worldwide Virtual Conference. Her live presentation “The Global Transformation of Libraries, LIS Education and LIS Professionals,” was attended by a “packed house” on October 18.

Don’t worry, the title intimidated me too.

But Dr. Hirsh’s excitement about emerging trends and her dedication to our school could be heard throughout her presentation.

Here’s some highlights.

Emerging Technologies: Emerging technologies like mobile apps, tablet computing, and MOOCs (massive online open courses) are creating new opportunities for libraries and information professionals.

People come to libraries to learn, create and collaborate through and with these technologies.

An example Dr. Hirsh mentioned was the Arlington Heights Memorial Library in Illinois which recently created a makerspace where patrons can come and “get creative with video, music, graphic design, and more.”

Emerging technologies change the way libraries connect, engage, play and automate their services.

New Roles for Information Professionals: Because of these new emerging technologies, our field is changing quickly and dramatically. Dr. Hirsh mentioned the Emerging Career Trends for Information Professionals report that was put out by SLIS this past summer. As I mentioned in my previous blog post about this snapshot, “emerging jobs,” which can deal with electronic resources, metadata, and virtual services, are becoming a big part of the career market for LIS graduates. These new jobs require a different kind of information professional, one who has a different kind of educational background.

LIS Education: With these new technologies and jobs comes a new kind of information school, one that prepares its graduates to work with emerging technologies. Dr. Hirsh mentioned SLIS specifically for its inclusion of a technology specific competency that all students must master upon graduation. She also mentioned the specific technology-based pathways that SLIS offers to its students.

After Dr. Hirsh completed her presentation, she opened the floor to questions. One new SLIS student asked a question that I felt was especially pertinent to this blog. The student asked, “What is your top piece of advice for new students to a LIS program?”

Dr. Hirsh’s answer?

Be excited. Take advantage of leadership opportunities and build your professional network. Engage with others both in and out of the classroom. Be sure to include an internship in your education. Try different types of courses; experiment. Explore your broad range of options.

While she may not have narrowed it down to just one piece of advice, Dr. Hirsh makes it clear in her answer and in her presentation that exploring and learning about emerging technologies is a very important part of becoming an information professional.

Do these emerging trends and technologies give you shivers of excitement or fear, or a little of both?

Additional pages to peruse:

Listen to Dr. Hirsh’s entire presentation

Dr. Hirsh’s presentation slides via SlideShare

Information about internships

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