Records Management (RM) is distinct from librarianship. Each field involves different skill sets, though there is much overlap between the two. Librarians who choose to focus on RM have an advantage in understanding it in a much more comprehensive and functional way. Deep understanding of metadata, taxonomies and classification is fundamental to librarianship, and also foundational to a successful RM program. Before launching Vestia Solutions, we asked ourselves how librarians are perceived in the private sector. We delivered this question to most of the private sector professionals that we had the pleasure to meet with. To our surprise, most responses were quite positive, and sometimes flattering. Nevertheless, “librarianship” is not as fully understood as we’d like it to be. Let’s shed a little light on what a librarian is in the 21st century!
Librarian stereotypes abound of course, i.e. the book-loving introvert. The reality is that librarians represent a wide variety of personality types and professional background niches. Though often not considered as such, librarianship is a people’s profession. Being a librarian means connecting people to the information they are seeking and helping people access and use information; librarians are communicators by trade.
What attracted us to become librarians is a love of connecting people with information. What makes us librarians is being able to effectively search, assess, share, disseminate, classify and protect that information. Information management has expanded well beyond books! Being a librarian in the 21st century means we also have to keep our finger on the pulse of technological developments in information management, while continuing to assess the value and life cycle of specific types of information. Librarians must be adaptable and competent regarding change management in order to keep up with the rapidly evolving field of information management. The librarian skill set is highly valuable in almost any organizational setting given the complex and rapidly changing nature of managing information today. The time is ripe for the librarians of the 21st century to venture out into the private sector!