Monday, November 7, 2011

Disintermediating Librarians - Words and Lightning

Source: http://www.photographycorner.com/images/blog/articles-by-amy-the-awesome-power-of-lightening-combined-with-digital-photography.jpg

In an after supper conversation about her planning book, I used the "d-word" with my daughter. The word? Disintermediation
...disintermediation is the removal of intermediaries in a supply chain: "cutting out the middleman". Instead of going through traditional distribution channels, which had some type of intermediate (such as a distributorwholesaler, broker, or agent), companies may now deal with every customer directly, for example via the Internet. One important factor is a drop in the cost of servicing customers directly. (Source: Wikipedia)
That's the big word these days as we reflect on Amazon cutting out publishing houses, allowing independent authors to publish their books without a traditional publishing company
Amazon.com has taught readers that they do not need bookstores. Now it is encouraging writers to cast aside their publishers. (Source: New York Times)
It should come as no surprise that the same is happening to librarians and instructional technologists...and, though the process moves slowly, in fits and starts, the suddenness can be breathtakingly painful.

In a blast from the past post from 2007, Doug Johnson excavates all that survives from a Thingamablog entry I wrote. Wow, it's weird to read something from that far back knowing that the original blog entry (along with 7000 other ones) no longer exist:
Librarians are the last gasp of an educational system that believes in information gatekeepers, master archivists who work like priests. It's about time we did away with these intermediaries to the words and ideas of people like you and me, and helped everyone accept information literacy as their own personal responsibility (oh, I wanted to write "saviour" but it wouldn't fly...). - Miguel Guhlin, (much tongue in cheek) 
Wow, I love that paragraph. I can tell I had a lot of fun crafting it. That said, if you disagree with the thrust of that paragraph's message, I hope you'll join me in ensuring all school libraries are properly staffed, open, and available for children every day.
Any school receiving Federal funds should be required to have a credentialed School Librarian on staff full time with a library that contains a minimum of 18 books per student. Failure to have a school library open to all students and/or failure to have a credentialed School Librarian to run that library should be punishable by a immediate withdrawal of all Federal monies. 
Study after study has shown that well-stocked, well-funded, well-organized school libraries staffed by a "highly qualified" School Librarian, or other similarly qualified credentialed individual, improve student reading scores, test scores, and literacy rates. 
Why don't you join me and sign the petition before November 27, 2011?
Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rage at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. 
Though wise [librarians] at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning they Do not go gentle into that good night....

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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