Sunday, July 4, 2010

Five Principles of Trade Librarianship

Looking back to the previous post, I see that there seems to be a very philosophical trend emerging! It was clearing out a folder of filed photocopies and course notes that uncovered Maurice Line's five laws of librarianship which lead me to thinking... So here are my five principles with a short intro:

Various notable librarians have set forth laws of librarianship: Ranganathan 1931, Line 1996, Gorman 1998, and in 2008 librarian Carol Simpson recommended that editing be done to Ranganathan's law because of the current richness of media available within libraries.

Ranganathan’s original five laws were:
1. Books are for use
2. Every reader his or her book
3. Every book its reader
4. Save the time of the reader
5. The library is a growing organism

Simpson suggested the following variations:

1.Media are for use.
2.Every patron his information.
3.Every medium its user.
4.Save the time of the patron.
5.The library is a growing organism.

Recently I re-read Line’s five laws of librarianship in The Library Association Record 98 (3) March 1996, and decided that it would be useful to enumerate some principles for the very specialised section of librarianship which I call ‘trade librarianship’. I use the abbreviation LIP here to mean a “Library and Information Professional”.

Principle 1
The LIP will serve the organisation in which he/she is working by the provision of a wide range of evaluated, high quality resources in whatever format is most appropriate. This may be through a digital information portal for example such as the one we call ELIS on the website of the New Zealand School of Export:

Principle 2
The resources will for the most part be digital in nature and available to the desktop. The LIP will ensure that appropriate help in using various media is available to all clients, and that the principles of information literacy are integrated into each transaction.

Principle 3
The LIP will use traditional methods such as subject headings in the catalogue and recently developed social networking tools, such as blogs, Twitter and facebook, to make links between related pieces of information and between information and users.

Principle 4
The LIP will be committed to his/her organisation’s ethos and will play a full part in achieving its goals while also ensuring that information sources used, and knowledge disseminated retain balance and integrity.

Principle 5
The most immediate focus for the LIP will be the provision of accurate and timely information that meets the needs of usersw. However he/she may also need to store and promote the preservation of information and knowledge produced by their organisation, through archiving, knowledge management and transfer.

What do you think? Any need for principles 6 or 7 or...?

No comments: