The most recent issue of American Libraries has an article by Laura B. Cohen called “A Manifesto for Our Times.” Ms. Cohen is a library blogger, and last November she published “A Librarian’s 2.0 Manifesto” on her blog. The article itself is short, but interesting, as is the manifesto.
So, fellow archivists, below is the librarian’s manifesto, shameless copied and modified minimally for us. I ask you, can we adopt this? What changes would we need?
- I will recognize that the universe of information culture is changing fast and that archives need to respond positively to these changes to provide resources and services that users need and want.
- I will educate myself about the information culture of my users and look for ways to incorporate what I learn into the services my archives provides.
- I will not be defensive about my archives, but will look clearly at its situation and make an honest assessment about what can be accomplished.
- I will become an active participant in moving my archives forward.
- I will recognize that archives change slowly, and will work with my colleagues to expedite our responsiveness to change.
- I will be courageous about proposing new services and new ways of providing services, even though some of my colleagues will be resistant.
- I will enjoy the excitement and fun of positive change and will convey this to colleagues and users.
- I will let go of previous practices if there is a better way to do things now, even if these practices once seemed so great.
- I will take an experimental approach to change and be willing to make mistakes.
- I will not wait until something is perfect before I release it, and I’ll modify it based on user feedback.
- I will not fear Google or related services, but rather will take advantage of these services to benefit users while also providing excellent services that users need.
- I will avoid requiring users to see things in archivists’ terms but rather will shape services to reflect users’ preferences and expectations.
- I will be willing to go where users are, both online and in physical spaces, to practice my profession.
- I will create open Web sites that allow users to join with archivists to contribute content in order to enhance their learning experience and provide assistance to their peers.
- I will lobby for an open catalog that provides personalized, interactive features that users expect in online information environments.
- I will encourage professional blogging in my archives.
- I will validate, through my actions, archivists’ vital and relevant professional role in any type of information culture that evolves.
I think the only addition we may need is a point about exploring the issues related to including records produced by 2.0 in our collections.
What issues do you see here–or are you ready to sign on right now?