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Wednesday, November 7 • 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Gatekeeper or Navigator? An Outsider's Take on Librarian Approach

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In the day of instantaneous information access, can a gatekeeper truly control access to information or do they simply alienate the people they serve? If a librarian sees themselves as a navigator through the murky, confusing and overwhelming information available, are they more relatable to their patrons? Which model serves the library better? Do the libraries and library patrons of the future need gatekeepers, navigators, or something else?

How does a librarian’s thoughts on their role shape their approach? Do patrons respond better to a particular methodology?

This proposed Lively Discussion will look at how librarians approach their occupation and how that shapes librarian-patron relationship.

I would love to hear from industry professionals how they see librarian roles and if they feel libraries are currently being well served by these roles. As a new library employee with a new perspective, I hope that my stance that today’s and tomorrow’s libraries need to retire the gatekeeper mentality and embrace the navigator inside themselves will be helpful and encourage insightful discussion of how to think about librarianship.

avatar for Heather Hankins

Heather Hankins

Digital Scholarship Strategist, Kennesaw State University