This week I am attending the ACRL/Harvard Institute Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians courtesy of an AAHSL Leadership Scholarship. I am very much looking forward to spending a week looking at the big picture of libraries with a group of enthusiastic librarians committed to the future of libraries. In preparation, we are reading Reframing Organizations by Bolman and Deal, and I am starting to get excited about the week's lectures and discussions. It is going to be a very intense week, but I hope to come back from it as enthusiastic about my profession as I am after MLA.
There is such tremendous opportunity in librarianship right now, and one of the things I hope to get out of this week is a better grasp on how I can help maximize some of those opportunities from my current place in the profession. With leadership on the mind this week, I had a discussion with a good friend about the potential for the future of libraries, particularly within the larger world of information technology and knowledge management. Some institutions have the library and IT positioned in such a way that the two groups can work together to create the kind of information systems that not only create new mutually beneficial relationships between the groups, but also fulfill each discipline's mission of creating, providing and disseminating information more completely, thus enabling deeper knowledge and better innovation in their institution. Social softwares, institutional repositories and other such systems are only the tip of the iceberg of the ways that IT and libraries can work together in new and exciting ways. I think now is the time for libraries to grab this opportunity and lead the charge to better information systems and knowledge management, and this week I hope to learn more about leading libraries in that direction.