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Librarians play a vital role in society and they are responsible for ensuring access to information as well as social and technological programming. Similarly, librarians have reading guidance. Historically, the concept of a librarian was associated with the compilation of books. Their positions, however, have evolved over time as a result of technological and social advances. As a result, modern librarians are not limited to book management alone, but still have and preserve a variety of formats such as print, electronic sources, audio, film, internet, and multimedia services, among many others. Furthermore, the librarians are tasked with training, coordination, hosting programs, offering assistive technologies to people with disabilities, and also the location and filing of various community resources. Simply put, the librarians have significant roles to play in any organizations, and their presence cannot be assumed to be irrelevant.
Ways in which a Librarian can Facilitate Work in an Organization
One of the widely recognized humanitarian organization is known as the America's Second Harvest of the Big Bend. The institution acts as a food bank which dispenses food to needy families in 11 counties across the United States. Since the work of this non-profit organization is to acquire donated food and distribute to the people in need, the skills of a librarian can come in handy to ensure smooth operations throughout the process. The first way is by developing standard reference materials especially online sources. Many potential donors would like to have some of their questions answered, and the librarian can do so based on the timely collection and posting of standard reference materials. Additionally, the librarian can also be tasked with the filing and keeping of records concerning circulation and materials (Rosenstein). This means that records about donations, regions covered, the number of families assisted, donors and even venues are organized and maintained in a manner that is easily retrieved.
Another way a librarian can be of help in America's Second Harvest of the Big Bend is through the involvement in budgeting, planning and personnel-related activities. This means that the librarian will take part in outlining the available facilities, resources, equipment, and services as well as policies so that the organization’s staff and donors and recipients can access valuable information. Such data includes the amount of food distributed in a given period, number of people receiving food, upcoming events and even how to contact the organization. A good example is found on the organization’s website indicating that about 6.5 million pounds of food was distributed and an average of 50,000 people received food each month in the year 2015-2016 (America's Second Harvest).
On top of that, any information or data that needs to be placed on the website or disseminated to stakeholders and government agencies has to be reviewed and evaluated by the librarian. Examples include catalogs, audio-visuals and also electronic resources. This can be followed by coding, classification, and cataloging based on subject matter or other classification models. Other functions include the collaboration with IT for better systems, purchasing of software and licenses, training staff and clients how to utilize the internet tools and accessing the databases and journals. Creation of awareness concerning the organization on the website is another way librarians can assist, and in some cases, they can also manage the organizational website hence projecting a positive image of the institution. Last but not least, the librarian can be part of policy making concerning resource access and negotiate with publishers and aggregators concerning the best license agreements to be purchased for e-journals and databases (Rosenstein).
Librarians are important people in any organization, and their knowledge and command of various information sources can be useful in several areas such as grant writing and fundraising. Their presence can be felt in sections such as user services, technical services, administration and also in special libraries.
America's Second Harvest. (n.d.). America's Second Harvest of the Big Bend. Retrieved from Fignting Hunger: http://www.fightinghunger.org/
Rosenstein, B. (n.d.). Emerging roles and possible futures for librarians and information professionals. Retrieved from Emerald Publishing: http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/librarians/features/librarian_roles.htm
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