Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Strategy Guides

George has mentioned the IAG team spending some time with Jenny "The Shifted Librarian" Levine. Jenny revealed to us that her new business card will identify her as a "strategy guide".

We loved this because it is the term that John Beck suggested librarians should adopt, during his presentation for OCLC at ALA MidWinter 2004. The context was his discussion about characteristics of young people--the millenials--and that one was a dislike and mistrust of the "level boss" in video games--a person to be avoided. Translated into workspeak, this means many millennials look for guidance and assistance outside the hierarchy and may view the anointed managers as barriers to success. "Strategy guide" is, I think, a lovely way to describe the role of librarians. For those of you who have memorized every word of the Environmental Scan, you will recall that we quote Jenny in the final chapter: "The key is to always be next to the user wherever the user is, invisible when things are working, magically materializing when they are not.” In other words, a strategy guide. I think it most fitting that Jenny gets to be the first official Strategy Guide in Libraryland.

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