LA TIMES article

Shirl Kennedy sdk at
Thu Dec 18 22:12:25 EST 1997

Amen, brother!

I just started working a lucrative contract in a large corporate information
systems department.
My library/information science skills were recognized as a definite asset,
along with the journalism skills and experience I acquired before attending
library school.  I am designing Web-based survey forms, intranet pages and
Web-based tutorials for software applications.  I'm also doing project
management.  I never dreamed I'd be doing any of this stuff when I attended
library school in 1984-86, but the opportunities have never been better for
information professionals with the drive and ingenuity to parlay traditional
skills into non-traditional niches where there is a demonstrated need.  You
often need to be aggressive and to blow your own horn to get attention.  If
you sit and wait for opportunities to come to you...well, it's not likely to
happen.  I was initially rejected for the job I'm currently doing because a
human resources drone saw the words "library and information science" on my
resume and was unwilling/unable to "think outside the box."  Through
persistant nagging and networking, I got my resume under the noses of the
folks for who I'm now working...who were perceptive enough to look at my
unique skill set and come to the conclusion that I was exactly what they did
not have and really needed -- an information guru, a communicator, and a
service-oriented person who could work with end users.

I really don't want to be flattering myself here.  Heaven knows, I've
belonged to this list since its inception, and there are lots of folks on
here who are far more talented, experienced, etc., than I am.  But if I've
managed to encourage even a single member of this list to "think outside the
box" and consider non-traditional areas where his or information science
skills would valued...well, that would be a pretty good holiday gift for me.

Shirl Kennedy
Internet Waves columnist
Information Today
Author:  Best Bet Internet (forthcoming, 1998, American Library Association)

-----Original Message-----
From: Louis Rosenfeld <lou at>
To: Multiple recipients of list <web4lib at>
Date: Thursday, December 18, 1997 6:24 PM
Subject: Re: LA TIMES article

>On Wed, 17 Dec 1997, Gary Price wrote:
>[stuff deleted]
>> If having information is as important as we currenlty read surely those
>> who know how and where to find it will have a role.
>I can't agree more.  I believe that the prospects for traditional
>libraries are mixed in the face of information technologies like the Web.
>But the prospects for librarians couldn't be better, as long as we are
>willing to work in non-traditional environments.
>I used to worry that disintermediation and improved access would render
>our profession moot.  No way.  Certainly, users are getting better at
>solving simple information needs, but in the process are learning that not
>all information needs are simple.  In many cases, users may realize that
>they need the assistance of a professional, when in the past they might
>not have bothered at all.  Users are getting more savvy about information,
>but that doesn't mean they'll all become as capable as professionally
>trained librarians are.  Nor will they want to do our jobs! ;-)
>Louis Rosenfeld
lou at
>Argus Associates, Inc.
>109 Catherine Street                                   voice:
>Ann Arbor, MI  48104  USA                                fax:
>Information Architecture for the World Wide Web  (L. Rosenfeld & P.
>O'Reilly & Associates; Jan 1998.

More information about the Web4lib mailing list