Do we listen? And do we hear?

Kathryn Deiss blogged over on Library 2.0 Ning about the fact that ‘Librarian’ features so much more prominently than users/patrons etc in the tag cloud. This leads her to wonder whether we are too self-obsessed- that all our discussions take place in a librarian centric jargon filled walled garden…

Are we? Do we not listen effectively? Are we asking the right questions? Who should we ask, and who should we listen to? And where is the space for discernment?

I think as a profession/service we do generally need to listen more and incorporate what people say into our discourse. In my service we regularly survey students and academics, and try to use feedback to shape the service we offer, institutional drives permitting.

If social software offers us any sort of useful model, it is one of sharing ideas and making use of expertise wherever it is- perhaps this is the way we should be moving? Opening up information for people to comment on, add to etc; all the while acting as champions, advisers and catalysts? But not forgetting our place and role in the physical community we serve.

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