"This is a report from the LAS Membership committee on a survey held in Feb 2012 and the summation of points rasied during the discussion held in Apr 2012 (When Librarians Meet on Friday the 13th)."
"Survey of SLS participants
During Feb 2012 this year, a survey was sent out to active participants of the Special Libraries Section of LAS - a total of 27 responses were received (amongst which 5 were from non-LAS members). The key reason that the participants cited for joining LAS was “to take advantage of networking with colleagues in Singapore and beyond.”
Other suggestions received were for more continuing education opportunities, conferences, workshops, sponsorship for education, programs (social and professional). There was a suggestion for the association to be more inclusive (accept members whom are interested in libraries and not just associated with one). There was also a request for LAS to become a voice for the profession to defend industry values and beliefs in situation where it is obvious administrators make policies that endangers such values and beliefs. There was a call for the importance of stewardship and mentorship, such that it would help new and young librarians develop professionalism."
The Editor suggests that the threats be seen as opportunities:
"Threats – Perception of librarians –> not a professional career; anyone can do; devalues the work we do; shrinking, Relevance of library, Low regards for the profession, Lack of understanding of what a librarian does, Not being recognized as a professional job, Lazy impatient users used by bad education foundation, Rising costs of academic quality information may drive away potential users leading to the rise of ‘non-quality’ information, Online knowledge bases or automated self-help databases/systems has reduced need for librarians “deep” expertise, Increasing costs of electronic resources, Library will behave more like IT centre, “Mental block” on status quo e.g. not leveraging on technology; withdrawal in the face of disruptive technology, Lack of involvement in political decision making, Ignorance of roles by outsiders –> displacement of importance, User behavior, Good enough info (not authoritative), Users want things fast, Informal channels e.g. getting from professional networking, Pay per view, Digital natives, Social media e.g. facebook, People are getting/sharing info through social media, Google, Direct delivery of content to users by vendors, Shrinking physical library, Increasing cost of content, Operating cost, Perception that librarians are relatively unimportant compared to other areas like economic issues or core functions of the organisation that a library resides (e.g. a library within a stat board)."