Librarianship is a profession familiar to us all. Words like reference, cataloging, abstracting and management: all of these, for us, evoke a sense of familiarity. When asked about books or information, we respond by applying this skill set of ours which we acquired through our studies; conducting reference interviews and searching catalogs in order to satisfy the informational needs of the user. However, does our skill set and function really stop there?
Unbeknownst to many, there are a multitude of other skills, aside from the traditional functions and aspects of librarianship, that are applicable to the profession. Among these are skills such as communication, marketing, and event planning. When these skills are brought to light, we often relegate them to the realm of other professions like business administration or mass communication, never giving thought to its possible relation to Library and Information Science. As such, by employing the aforementioned mindset, many librarians, both current and prospective, limit themselves to the traditional image of a librarian: that of a keeper of information in a library filled with columns and columns of books. Such an ideal is saddening to bear for we, especially in this age of constant technological progression, are capable of so much more.
Inside and outside of the library, we have always done so much more than our preconceived role: we have planned events for the benefit of our clients, we have marketed our services in various creative ways, and we have even dabbled in specialized areas such as medicine, engaging in what is known as bibliotherapy (Bibliotherapy, n.d.). All of these show immense promise and potential that there is for the profession of librarianship. Now, if we can only let go of our traditionalized ideals and deconstruct our image of librarians and information professionals.
In line with this, UP LISSA launches the tenth installation of the LIS Congress, entitled Ostranenie—a Russian word meaning defamiliarization. In this year’s Congress, we aim to go back to the roots of our profession, defamiliarizing the familiar world of librarianship and deconstructing our preconceived ideal of a librarian with the hope of defining what a librarian should be in this day and age.
Bibliotherapy. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/bibliotherapy