Monday, January 29, 2007

Librarianship at the Crossroads - A Proto-Manifesto?

Our situation is partially analogous to Western painters at the dawn of the 20th century. There was no road map. Instead, there was action. Picasso & Braque stole from C├ęzanne and, in turn, created a truly avant-garde style (Cubism, a term coined by the critic Louis Vauxelles 2 years after Picasso had already painted Les Demoiselles d'Avignon). The Italian Futurists took the work of Picasso and turned it into dynamism. The Russians took Futurism and turned it on its head--reducing art to its most discrete element (decades before anyone heard of Minimalism). All of this creativity was basically happening during the 1st two decades of the 20th century.

And every artist was blindly groping to create something new, something original. There was no beacon of light.

Let us act! Let us create a world where information is easily accessible, transmitted, and stable. We must collaborate with each other and with any profession that information affects. We are 21st century librarians. We are the future!

"at long last our ships may venture out again, venture out to face any danger; all the daring of the lover of knowledge is permitted again; the sea, our sea, lies open again; perhaps there has never yet been such an 'open sea.'" - Nietzsche, The Gay Science