Blended librarianship is a term used to describe the evolving role of librarians in integrating traditional library practices with emerging technologies and new modes of learning. It is a model of librarianship that emphasizes the need for librarians to have diverse skills that blend traditional library practices with instructional design and technology expertise.
It is a modern approach to the library profession that combines traditional library skills with new technologies, emerging trends, and instructional design principles to provide user-centered services. It involves integrating the tools and strategies of technology with the professional values and expertise of librarianship. Blended librarians are skilled in assessing user needs and using data to inform decision-making, and they are proactive in reaching out to users through various channels, including social media and email. Blended librarianship aims to deliver library services that meet the changing needs of users in the digital age.
Blended librarianship focuses on using technology to enhance traditional library services and resources. Librarians who practice blended librarianship can integrate an array of technological tools and resources with the traditional services and resources of the library to create a hybrid model of library service. This includes using technology to create and deliver innovative learning experiences, such as online tutorials and instructional videos.
In addition, blended librarianship emphasizes the importance of adapting to changing environments and using a mix of traditional and new approaches to serving users. This means that librarians must be flexible and able to work effectively in a variety of contexts. They must also be knowledgeable about technology and able to use it in creative ways to improve library services and meet user needs.
Overall, blended librarianship is about combining the best of traditional library practices with new technologies and modes of learning to provide innovative and effective library services that meet users’ needs in a changing world. It is a model of librarianship that recognizes the importance of technology in enhancing library services and resources while valuing the traditional skills and practices of librarianship.
The Goal of Blended Librarianship
Blended librarianship aims to provide user-centered library services that meet the changing needs of users in the digital age. This involves combining traditional library skills and expertise with new technologies, instructional design principles, and emerging trends in information science. The focus of blended librarianship is on understanding user needs and delivering services that are relevant, accessible, and engaging. Blended librarians aim to proactively reach out to users through various channels, including social media and email, and collaborate with other departments on campus or within their community to promote the library’s resources and services. Ultimately, blended librarianship aims to provide an optimal user experience and promote lifelong learning and information literacy.
Here are the key points regarding the goal of blended librarianship:
- Provide user-centered library services that meet the changing needs of users in the digital age.
- Combine traditional library skills and expertise with new technologies, instructional design principles, and emerging trends in information science.
- Focus on understanding user needs and delivering services that are relevant, accessible, and engaging.
- Be proactive in reaching out to users through various channels, including social media and email.
- Collaborate with other departments on campus or within the community to promote the library’s resources and services.
- Provide an optimal user experience.
- Promote lifelong learning and information literacy.
Importance of Blended librarianship in details
Blended librarianship is important for the following reasons:
Meeting changing user needs: As society increasingly relies on digital technologies for accessing and using information, libraries must adapt to meet these changing user needs. Blended librarianship enables libraries to provide services that are relevant, accessible, and engaging to users in the digital age.
- Integrating emerging technologies: Blended librarianship allows librarians to integrate emerging technologies, such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality, into their services. By doing so, librarians can provide more personalized and interactive services that cater to users’ needs.
- Promoting information literacy: Blended librarianship teaches users how to use and evaluate information sources effectively. This is important in an age where misinformation is rampant on the internet, and users need to be able to evaluate information critically.
- Collaborating with other departments: Blended librarianship enables librarians to collaborate with other departments on campus or within their community. This collaboration allows librarians to provide more comprehensive services to users and better meet their needs.
Enhancing user experience: Blended librarianship enables librarians to create an optimal user experience by using instructional design principles and user-centered design. This ensures that users can easily access and use library resources and services.
Remaining relevant: Blended librarianship enables librarians to stay relevant in a rapidly changing digital environment. By combining traditional library skills with new technologies and teaching methods, librarians can continue to provide valuable services to users and contribute to the broader information science community.
Blended_Librarianship as the Future of the Librarianship Profession
Blended librarianship is a relatively new approach to the profession that combines traditional library skills with new technologies, teaching methods, and emerging trends in information science. The blended librarianship concept acknowledges that libraries and information services are undergoing a significant transformation in the digital age and that librarians must adapt their skills and expertise to remain relevant.
The term “blended librarianship” was coined in 2004 by Steven J. Bell, Associate University Librarian at Temple University, and John D. Shank, Director of the Center for Learning & Teaching at Penn State Berks. They defined A Blended Librarian as “an academic librarian who combines the traditional skill set of librarianship with the information technologist’s hardware/software skills and the instructional or educational designer’s ability to apply technology appropriately in the teaching-learning process.” Bell, S. J., & Shank, J. D. (2007)
To expand further on the definition, they identified six principles for blended librarianship:
- “Taking a leadership position as campus innovators and change agents to deliver library services in today’s “information society successfully.”
- Committing to developing campuswide information literacy initiatives on our campuses to facilitate our ongoing involvement in the teaching and learning process.
- Designing instructional and educational programs and classes to assist patrons in using library services and learning information literacy that are absolutely essential to gaining the necessary skills (trade) and knowledge (profession) for lifelong success
- Collaborating and engaging in dialogue with instructional technologists and designers is vital to the development of programs, services, and resources needed to facilitate the instructional mission of academic libraries.
- Implementing adaptive, creative, proactive, and innovative change in library instruction can be enhanced by communicating and collaborating with newly created instructional technology/design librarians and existing instructional designers and technologists.
- Transforming our relationship with faculty to emphasize our ability to assist them with integrating information technology and library resources into courses, but adding to that traditional role a new capacity to collaborate on enhancing student learning and outcome assessment in the area of information access, retrieval, and integration.”
Blended librarianship involves a holistic approach to the profession, which includes a combination of traditional librarianship skills, such as collection development, reference services, and cataloging, with newer skills like web development, social media management, and instructional design. Blended librarianship also encompasses emerging technologies such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality to deliver library services.
One of the core principles of blended librarianship is a focus on user-centered services. This means that librarians must understand the needs of their users and develop services that meet those needs. Blended librarians must be skilled in assessing user needs and using data to inform decision-making.
Blended librarianship also significantly shifts how librarians interact with their users. Rather than waiting for users to come to them, blended librarians proactively reach out to users through social media, email, and other channels. They may also work collaboratively with other departments on campus or within their community to promote the library’s resources and services.
Blended_librarianship is the profession’s future because it recognizes the need for librarians to adapt their skills and expertise to meet the changing needs of users. By embracing new technologies and teaching methods, blended librarians are better equipped to deliver user-centered services that meet the needs of their users in the digital age.
- Bell, S. J., & Shank, J. D. (2007). Academic librarianship by design: A blended librarian’s guide to the tools and techniques. American Library Association.
- John D. Shank. (n.d.). Academic Impressions. Retrieved March 25, 2023, from https://www.academicimpressions.com/instructors/john-d-shank/
- Shank, J. (2008). Academic Librarianship by Design; A Blended Librarian’s Guide to the Tools and Techniques. Collection Management. https://www.academia.edu/12883317/Academic_Librarianship_by_Design_A_Blended_Librarian_s_Guide_to_the_Tools_and_Techniques
- Steven J. Bell | ALA Store. (n.d.). Retrieved March 25, 2023, from https://www.alastore.ala.org/content/steven-j-bell