The time of the 'new' librarian has come, and it isn't us. (Us being public librarians)
UCTLiS in the first presentation of the day called for the emergence/creation/the need for this 'new' librarian that is all singing, all dancing and ready to research and produce academic papers at the drop of a ha...book. The new librarian will be immensely employable because he will embody the things that UCT and Academic Librarians value most, the ability to make the Library School look really good.
Ok, now that it's out of my system.
Let's begin again.
Public Librarians are not new librarians, the context in which we work are not conducive to creating these academic papers which UCTLIS puts so much faith in. That's not to stay there isn't a passion and interest for public librarians to write papers, its just not an easy thing to bloody do and everybody thinks that it is!
The Challenges that my colleagues so easily think can be vaulted with good intent and spindly legs of wishful thinking are myriad; the red tape quagmire of the local authority, HR practices that are designed for the whole organization not just one department thus limiting what staff can do, the lack of any sort of training or retraining in research methodology due to lack of funds for training by the local authority and a general apathy from Library Management.
Furthermore, if the LIS schools (like UCT) haven't priced themselves out of being helpful, it would be feasible to have research methodologies and all the skills that produce viable research on the Work Skills plan of the Local Authority's training interventions.
The challenges that need overcoming require concerted effort and force of will to work through and it cannot be done alone, stakeholders who are WILLING to participate and agree that the end result of educating and training a librarian isn't a piece of paper that makes the department look good, but rather, its BUILDING a librarian. Not a new librarian, or an old librarian, just a librarian with potential to do...
"going to the matresses"