New Roles for Librarians in the 21st Century

New Roles for Librarians in the 21st Century: Hollywood Librarians, New Librarians, Vanishing Librarians

Friday, November 7, 2008
US Embassy Berlin, Pariser Platz 2, 10117 Berlin

13:45 Registration at Embassy Entrance
14:00 “The Hollywood Librarian: A Look at Librarians through Film”
15:30 Coffee / Late registration at Embassy Entrance
15:45 Discussion with Louise Berry and John N. Berry III

RSVP Required: November 5, 2008 –
Please bring your Personalausweis or Passport!

Election 2008 is over. Librarians in the United States did much more than point users to resources. They played a leadership role in guaranteeing that all local voices were heard, informing the public on election procedures, reform proposals, and candidates’ backgrounds and positions through voter registration training sessions, special programs, displays, and websites. This is one example of the expanded role of libraries in today’s society.

Meet John and Louise Berry at the new U.S. Embassy in Berlin to discuss the role of libraries and librarians in the 21st century.

About the Program

Louise Berry is the director of the Public Library in Darien, Connecticut. On November 26, the library will move to a new building. On the new building, Ms. Berry says, “We plan to redefine the role the public library plays in the community in the 21st century… We hope you believe the Library is the third important place in your life, after work and home. We want it to be the heart and intellectual center of our community, and the place where you can meet your friends, discuss your interests, and continue life-long learning and enjoyment.”

John N. Berry III was Editor-in-Chief the Library Journal (LJ) for over 40 years. He retired in January 2006 but continues to serve as editor-at-large for LJ and to write his “Blatant Berry” column. Berry has taught at graduate programs at the University of Pittsburgh, Simmons College, Pratt Institute in New York, and Louisiana State University.
“It looks like the ‘transformation’ we seek for libraries and librarianship may turn out to be more of a ‘deskilling’ of library jobs than an enhancement of the profession. More and more working librarians are ‘managed’ by a new breed of library leader. Their model for the new public library is that dehumanized supermarket or the chaotic disorganization of the largest Barnes & Noble.” John N. Berry III (Blatant Berry: The Vanishing Librarians)

Hollywood Librarian
The film Hollywood Librarian, a documentary film focusing on the work and lives of librarians, will also be shown. Using the context of American movies, the film may hold some surprises for people who may think they know what librarians do.