Personally I believe that tacit or work based knowledge or experience should be complimented and supplemented by implicit knowledge embedded in books, and because of this, I profoundly think that books are real treasures – keys that unlock the doors to many things, imagination, ideas, puzzles, solutions, legacies. Library and Information science is a social science, rooted in the understanding of human behaviour. Last year, I attended my second MSc library and information studies study school at Aberystwyth University, where we had the chance to visit the National Library of Wales. It was interesting to note the difference between an academic library and a repository library; half museum, half library. It broadened my notion of librarianship, and how it appears to be moving in two directions. On the one hand we have teaching, learning and research support, and in the case of respositary libraries, we are conservationists and archivists. With recent technological development, Libraries throughout the UK are testing the waters of Twitter as a way to both engage with their readers and dispel their image as fusty, silent enclaves staffed by old-fashioned introverts. Once upon a time a love of books and reading was considered a key requirement for an aspiring librarian. Today, with the advent of digitalisation and moves towards the virtual library, such an interest is no longer enough. Librarians must master sophisticated IT and information management skills as well as the traditional techniques.
Books are still in, but ‘bookishness’ has gone – along with the old stereotype of stern shushes from a bluestocking in a tweed skirt and spectacles with her hair in a tightly twisted bun.
I’m sure that everyone can think of at least one book that has inspired them. The best things in life really are free!