Dean Giustini just keeps making his profession look good from the outside, doesn’t he?
University of British Columbia’s libraries have also seen dramatic changes. When biomedical branch librarian Dean Giustini joined the UBC library staff 10 years ago, the biomedical library offered just three electronic journals. It now offers 40,000. Mr. Giustini, named Canadian Hospital Librarian of the Year for 2007, is a well-read and popular blogger. He maintains the Google Scholar Blog (with the stated purpose “to observe, document and comment on the evolution of academic-scholarly searching”) and is the blogger for Open Medicine, a peer-reviewed, open-access online journal that aims to provide high-quality health information. In 2005, he kicked off a lengthy debate among experts with a British Medical Journal editorial entitled “How Google is changing medicine.”
Mr. Giustini doesn’t believe that the librarian’s role is diminished by today’s ready availability of information. “I think our role will be helping people to teach each other how to find information, but also how to critically evaluate information,” he says. “People need to see us as knowledgeable about knowledge, in all its forms.”
…and later in the article:
Tim Mark, executive director of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, says that some older, more traditional academic librarians have found the new technology a bit daunting, and the new approach to library space, challenging. This has sometimes led to generational tensions, ones which Dean Giustini at UBC says he has felt first-hand.
“Some people just don’t get it,” says Mr. Giustini bluntly. “But I’ve got tenure, and I’m going to continue to push the envelope as much as I can. … Librarians need to be seen to be part of this revolution. And if you don’t want to stay in the profession because of it, there are lots of young, fresh, smart librarians who will take your place.”
Let’s just repeat that last part in bold:
“…Librarians need to be seen to be part of this revolution. And if you don’t want to stay in the profession because of it, there are lots of young, fresh, smart librarians who will take your place.”