“Who are you empowering?” by Hugh Rundle

In a  May blog post, titled “Who are you empowering?”, Hugh Rundle challenges libraries about our technology choices and whether our role should just be as “gap filler” between our patrons and publisher, with our patrons increasing demand for digital resources but should be something greater. I liked the following paragraphs related to electronic resources and services and library technology choices:

So the question is not just what technologies are available, but what technologies align with our values and purpose as librarians. That is, what technologies allow us to empower our library members? A key consideration for librarians has always been how we provide access to information and cultural works. Late stage capitalism is no time to give up this tradition.

Libraries need technology, but we must recognise that the values driving ‘startup culture’ and most technology companies are radically different from the values librarians have held and defended for decades. Librarians value preservation, privacy, and sharing. Startups and tech corporates value growth, extracting and profiting from personal data and, quite literally, selling out.


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