In a Tech-Saturated World, Don’t Forget the Importance of the Human Element…

Source: Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository

It seems like every time I turn around, there’s a new task that can now be automated or outsourced or a new program that can do what I do accurately and in half the time. Sometimes it’s easy, as a technical services librarian, to get a little concerned about my job security. What place DO we have and what role CAN we serve when computers and technology keep on finding ways to do our jobs better and faster?

This concern isn’t limited to technical services librarians, of course. I think we can all find similar feelings within ourselves, regardless of our positions or our industries. We may even feel it in our personal lives.

So 3 Geeks and a Law Blog hit the nail on the head with their recent post, What Are Humans Good for… in Legal Services?, and I was reminded that there’s no need to fear. I can do something a computer can’t do – and that’s be a human. I can relate to other humans in a way technology never can, meaning I can more effectively generate ideas, solve problems, strategize, persuade, argue, tell stories, and most importantly, collaborate with others.

Other recent posts have backed up this idea:

Robert Oaks, Chief Library and Records Officer for Latham & Watkins LLP, states “It’s not about the library. It’s about the relationship the librarian has with those who do or could benefit from the library.” View the library as a service, not a location, and shift your perspective and role to be more proactive and prescriptive. You know who finds it challenging to be proactive and prescriptive? That’s right. Computers.

A recent survey of faculty and academic librarians done by the Library Journal and Gale shows that there’s a disconnect between faculty and librarians, and suggests that you need to ingrain the library in campus culture, actively participate in student education, and seek out opportunities for engagement with teaching faculty. You know who doesn’t oftentimes seek out opportunities to further engagement with others?  Technology.

The library sector is changing under out feet, and this blog post, by Rebecca Jones, offers 4 ideas to “rewire” our thinking.  My favorite one is “The Intelligent Organization of People is Key to Success.”  Again – it’s not the power of our technology and our ‘stuff’ that defines our success as librarians.  It’s the ways in which the human dimension works that defines a library’s success.

Want ways to help the human component, even while leveraging the best parts of connecting through increased technology?  Check out these tips to improve collaboration among remote teams, by Mike Gilronan, where he lists five clear cut to-dos.

And have you realized that technology alone will not make us more efficient and can, at times, make us less focused and therefore less efficient?  Technology can actually make us less useful.  Collaboration is what leads to efficiency, and this posting by Mark Hunter reminds us that fostering collaboration requires both a shift in culture and in the way we do things.

And finally, here’s an interesting combination of out-sourcing and in-sourcing that gave a future-proof strategy to one law firm.  “People get the answers they need, better and faster.” It’s not outsourcing to machines, but outsourcing to expert PEOPLE.  Again, people are the key to successfully serving others.  Not just the technology.


~Ashley Moye~

TSLL TechScans is “a blog to share the latest trends and technology tools for technical services law librarians.”  This content was originally posted on TSLL TechScans and is reprinted here with permission.

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Refer a Friend: Paralegal Certificate Program


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by | November 30, 2015 · 8:00 am

Reminder – Upcoming Webinar: Paralegal Information Session and Open House


Interested in learning more about the Paralegal Certificate Program? At an open house we will discuss the application process, answer your questions, and introduce you to the program and its components. Persons planning to attend should register in advance for the session due to limited space.

Session:         Open House (Webinar)
Date:               December 3, 2015
Time:               6:00 – 7:00p
Register:      Reserve your space

Information session will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.  For more information email or contact the Office of Continuing Professional Education.

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Happy Thanksgiving from the Charlotte Law Library!


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by | November 26, 2015 · 8:00 am

Check Out Our New Banned Books Weeks LibGuide!


After another successful Banned Books Week (September 27 to October 3, 2015) where we celebrated the freedom to read and raised awareness of the issue, the Charlotte School of Law Library has created a Libguide of information about Banned Books Week. Check it out at


The guide provides background information about Banned Books Week and why it is an annual event. For those who may not know, the section Banned/Challenged Books of the guide gives specifics about the who, what and why of challenged and banned books. An Infographics section provides a place to catch the great graphics on this subject. The American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom’s list of classic books and the reasons they have been challenged is included in the Classics section.  Many of the challenged or banned books in the Charlotte School of Law Library’s Collection section are highlighted. These books are available for checkout.

This Year’s Activities section highlights the different ways that we celebrated the week this year including blog posts, book displays, a poll in OrgSync, this year’s poster that has been added to our collection on the 4th floor, announcement of the Read Out!, and addition of three favorite banned books to the CSL Library’s collection.

Probably the most important section of the guide is Advocacy. This section highlights the First Amendment to the United States Constitution; what action anyone can take in protecting our right to read; and the organizations and websites that monitor the threats and advocate for our rights.

While we celebrate our freedom to read during Banned Books Week each year, we all should be aware of the challenges that continue to happen all too frequently at other times of the year and be prepared to act in support of the schools and libraries that face those challenges.

 ~Betty Thomas~

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Filed under Books & Stuff, collection, Libguides, Library, Student Information