Transforming Roles for Academic Librarians: Leading and Participating in New Partnerships Brenda L. Johnson Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries Indiana University A s a beginning point to look at the changing roles of academic librarians, a brief scan of library websites uncovers a dizzying array of titles assigned to library professionals. Just take a look at a few of the titles of librarian positions in academic libraries these days: Repository Architecture Specialist, Bioinformationist, Intellectual Property Officer, Digital User Experience Librarian, Metadata Harvesting Librarian, Global Health Librarian, Curriculum Integration Librarian, Digital Research and Scholarship Librarian, Outreach Librarian, Interface and User Testing Librarian, Instructional Design Librarian, Chief Technology Strategist, Translational Science Information Specialist, and the list goes on. One might ask if these new titles have confused our users or even librarians themselves. Perhaps. But, does the typical faculty member or student even know our titles. The answer I am quite sure is, “no.” Why should they care what librarians are calling themselves? They do care about what we are doing for and, perhaps more importantly, with them. The point is not what we call ourselves. I’ll grant you an argument could be made that some of these new titles may intrigue our colleagues on campus and may even garner new respect. And, I’m the first to admit I like some of the new titles and some degree of re-branding for librarians may be desirable. It matters less what we call librarians and matters more that we have confidence that what we offer is valued and that the roles we play are in sync with and critical to the mission of our university. The “Transforming Research Libraries” section of the ARL Strategic Plan of RLI 272 7 OCTOBER 2010 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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