Library 2.017 Explores Skills Necessary for Successful Librarianship


In the first of three online mini-conferences for 2017, Library 2.0 recently took a look at the skills and knowledge needed to support effective libraries of the future.

Sponsored by the San José State University School of Information and organized in partnership with the American library Association, “Expertise, Competencies and Careers” was a free presentation held on March 29 and aimed at library professionals, employers, library and information science students, and educators.

Keynote panelists included Dr. Eileen Abels, dean of the School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College; Dr. John Bertot, professor and associate provost for faculty affairs at the University of Maryland; and Valerie J. Gross, president and CEO of the Howard County Library System. The opening panel was moderated by Dr. Julie Beth Todaro, the 2016-2017 president of the American Library Association, who was also the closing keynote speaker.

More than 3,600 attendees representing 97 countries registered for the conference, which explored the skills, knowledge, traits and expectations required of 21st century information professionals working in libraries of all types and sizes. The opening keynote panel was followed by concurrent crowd-sourced presentations that provided an avenue for further thought and practice.

Twitter captured highlights of the web conference via #library2017. Ruth Stubbings, a university librarian from England tweeted the “Three Pillars” presented by Gross: Self-directed education, research assistance and instruction, and instructive and enlightening experiences. Ofili David Nzoputa, a librarian from Nigeria, shared Bertot’s view that “librarians are not valuable because we are used. We are valuable because we make a difference.” Attending from New Zealand, Nikki Shaw tweeted her takeaway from David Stern’s crowd-sourced presentation: “Management addresses complexity. Leadership addresses vision, service reviews and enhancements.”

All of the conference sessions were recorded and are available on the conference’s website at If you are not a member of the Library 2.0 network, join for free to access the recordings.

ALA will continue the keynote panel discussion will Abels, Bertot and Gross at its annual conference in Chicago coming up on June 24. The session, “Library and Information Experts Succeeding in the 21st Century: A Town Hall Dialogue on Competencies, Careers, and Successful Practice,” will delve deeper into evolving information profession.

The next Library 2.017 web conference will be held on June 1 from 12 – 3 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time and cover the topic of “Digital Literacy and Fake News.” Futurist Bryan Alexander will moderate the opening keynote panel discussion around the foundational relationship of libraries and librarians to media, information, and digital literacy. Attendees will also hear from crowd-sourced presenters. The call for proposals is now open.

On October 11, the Library 2.017 series will shift its focus to the topic of “Makerspaces,” taking an in depth look at library makerspaces and exploring partnerships with communities.   

The Library 2.0 Worldwide Virtual Conference was co-founded in 2011 by Dr. Sandra Hirsh of the SJSU School of Information and Steve Hargadon of The Learning Revolution.

Image captured from Valerie Gross’ slides on the “Three Pillars.”