Understanding the limitations of data means you know that data alone won’t reveal the whole picture.
[He] laughed and replied that he could sum up his secrets to supervision on a tiny scrap of paper (such as we keep at the Information Desk for researchers to write call numbers out) and he proceeded to do so.
Here’s what he wrote:
Be a mensch (Josh credits his father in Minnesota with teaching him this)
a. Care… at least a little
b. Don’t lie (you may not always be able to convey the entire truth, but do not lie)
c. Don’t be a coward (you don’t have to be stalwartly brave—just don’t be a coward)
— From LJ’s Cheryl LaGuardia, Achieving Library Menschness | Not Dead Yet
The part in the searching equation that hasn’t happened yet, because it is so hard to do, is getting online systems to the point of employing sufficient artificial intelligence to be able to bring into play what takes humans years to learn—a combination of knowledge and technique that encompasses a huge range of subjects and technologies. Discovery systems haven’t gotten us there yet, not by a long shot. And the more I see of current day online technology, the more heartened I am about job security for librarians.
The point at which I stop learning is the point at which I need to retire. Until then, I plan to go on learning and trying new things. So far I think I’ve reinvented myself nine or ten times in my career, and frankly, I enjoy that. It’s one of the things that attracted me to librarianship in the first place: variety.