LAUC PROFESSIONAL GOVERNANCE REPORT ON: PERSONNEL Pauline Manaka, UC Irvine Libraries
Introduction The charge from LAUC statewide to CPG to promote discussions on ‘the future of UC librarians’ across all 10 campuses, from the very beginning implied that there was a need to address personnel issues. This report is an effort to sum up the many ideas generated from LAUC library discussions system wide concerning personnel issues at UC, broader perceptions, trends, preparations and promotions. Some ideas were generated as follow-ups to the discussions held at the Berkeley Assembly and the Irvine gathering. In addition, some recommended readings on personnel-related issues, are provided at the end. Outline I plan to discuss the topic of personnel within the following, subdivisions: (a) Librarianship Recruitment and Education; (b) The Practice Today and (c) Future Trends. Topic overlaps are to be expected, and there will be less emphasis of qualifying ‘good’ vs. bad ideas instead more emphasis on implementation opportunities for LAUC. From this, I hope we will develop a list of actions to implement in the UC system. (a) Who are Librarians today?
“Clearly librarianship is located at a nexus of great need… Information providers, for all their exasperating prices need librarians to disseminate information. Librarians need digitization in the face of shrinking budgets. Researchers need information. Nobody is in charge of the landscape that is opening up …. If librarians do not take steps to determine their fate, some other interested party will do it for them. As the saying goes, "Power goes to those who know what they want." And it is only by much greater organization and unity that librarians will gain the self-awareness to find the goals they want and develop machinery for reaching them”
(b) The Practice Today UC Librarians who met at the UC Irvine reached a conclusion that librarians are expected to be a generalist and subject specialist to work effectively; we have a problem quantifying soft skills like collaboration, and about the review: ‘there should a balance between criterion 1-4.’ The salaries are low, with tedious bureaucratic structures and we are busier with less time for professional development. The Future A specific issue to be improved, and one that impacts the future, is to ensure improving upon ‘the value of librarian professional expertise by the university community’. To know the expertise we possess and want to be valued for is crucial, first as UC librarians for on the job expertise, our education training and on going global collaborations. Be valued and nurtured with: • Re-training and development of new skill sets; use top-down model (like Duke) sometimes to ensure transformation • Flatten management structure to empower all • More meaningful system-wide cooperation, less competition in for example, content acquisition efforts, management roles –if properly consolidated for the best results. • The budget crisis has helped us rethink relations among librarians and those without the library degree; new pathways for coursework and additional degrees, and more. • Gain fluency in all sorts of information tools and resources. • LAUC should help re-think UC Library management so that it can become more effective • Engineer collaborations of all sorts, collections, group networks, digital spaces, and more. • Become data repositories as well as or instead of document repositories • The MLS/MLIS is a degree that is important to the profession, and will continue to be.
For LAUC, we can re-write our jobs to avoid routine and repetitive staff tasks and over-reliance on end-user self service. The UC Collection white paper needs to clearly state the future of librarians as well as libraries. “We are doing a good job of quality control,” the one who purchase access to content. We often understand interdisciplinary relations of information better than others; it is a matter of how we market such a skill as critical today.
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Benton, Thomas H. "Marian the Cybrarian." Chronicle of Higher Education May 20, 2010. Johnson, Marylin. This Book Is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All (HarperCollins, 2010). Spiro, Lisa, and Geneva Henry. "Can a New Research Library Be All-Digital?". Washington D.C.: Council on Library and Information Resources, 2010.