A couple of years ago my book Corporate Libraries: Basic Principles in a Changing Landscape was published. In that work I highlighted how librarians with foundational skills related to collecting, organizing, and disseminating information were prepared to embrace the changing demands of modern information services. Today’s corporate librarian also has an important role in evaluating and managing digital assets and training.
As we consider the impact that artificial intelligence and other big data technologies have on today’s research landscape, the task of providing related services may seem overwhelming. It is still my belief that with the core skills central to information services, librarians are prepared to support the changing roles. The environment may be different, the titles may change but the value delivered is high. You may have to do some professional development to up your game for data science and analytics, but at the end of the day the change is just one more thing librarians can do.
I recently reread Legal Librarians’ Role Changing to Keep Up with the Times. This article, published in June 2016, discusses the impact that digitization has had on legal librarians. Elizabeth Langeveldt the ALLA confirms my theory that while the environment may change the skills are central to delivering high value.
“[While] digitisation only changes the format of information, the underpinning need remains for the skill set and value add which law librarians bring to law firms as well as our courts and law schools.”
We now exist in an age of big data where the information is used to inform critical business decisions daily. Navigating the raw data and making sense of the analytics requires expertise. The importance of embedded librarians will continue to increase because siloed requests cannot support the entire business. More sharing and more transparency is necessary. Trust is sometimes hard in a corporate environment but team work will be essential and librarians/information professionals should be a central part of the team.
The foundational skills of collecting, organizing and disseminating remain central to the navigation and better value can be realized by fully utilizing the potential offered with the ones holding the core skills.