Hello from the nation’s capital! DC/SLA is excited to be contributing all of this week’s FutureReady365 posts (thanks to our future-thinking Communications Secretary, Chris Vestal). We are a diverse community of 800+ information professionals, with members from D.C., Maryland, Virginia, as well as 30 other U.S. states and 12 countries. You’ll see this diversity reflected in the range of future ready ideas presented in posts throughout the week. We hope our posts will spark some thought and conversation and, of course, your comments. Most of all, we want to help keep the spark of the FutureReady blog alive – a spark that’s become a fire, gathering us around it to brainstorm our way into the future. — Mary Talley, DC/SLA President (2011)
by Victor Monti, Washington, DC Chapter, Social Science Division
Future Ready means anticipating trends, responding quickly to breakthroughs and knowing what fundamentals are constant.
You need to study the art of being aware of where the the library and information professional arena is headed in terms of upcoming advancements. Social media, the Cloud, more and cheaper memory, the rise of tablets. Be prepared as you hone in on and discover what is up next. So, you have to look at blogs in your area and be on useful listservs and network with colleagues and attend training and information sessions. Use different media and venues to expand your horizon and be aware of changes coming to the profession.
And even with some expectations for what is arriving on the information scene, there will be the unanticipated and sudden outbursts from exploding ideas in communication and knowledge. The next big technical device or communication medium will quickly change the existing operating climate. You will have to learn about a new technology fast and then be able to turn that into value for your library, knowledge center and greater organization. Even with all of our best thought out plans, a surprise in the way we do business allows us to capitalize on innovation for our agency. Seize the new concepts and exploit them in spreading information and knowledge more effectively.
Finally, we have to recall the basics of the profession. Information – its categorization, retrieval, ease of use and analysis into productive knowledge. There will always be the need for information. Our lives are enhanced with the more that we know. Library and Information professionals are the facilitators, the liaisons for sharing the ideas, thoughts and concepts that we strive to understand and utilize. There will always be a need to better deliver information to the world. There are now more ways to get information to our customers but the idea of serving our clients with data, facts and knowledge is part of who we are and will be.
Future Ready is where we are and where we are going. Embrace change in information delivery. Keep our values of accessible knowledge constant.
PS – FR ready joke. Are Archivists past ready?
Victor Monti is a nontraditional library and information professional working in IT Management for DOD Departments. After a year in the Pentagon Library on the Reference staff, he has worked for the IT offices in the headquarters staff of the Air Force, Army and Defense Information Systems Agency (DOD-wide).