“Over the centuries, the librarian and teaching professions have become elite groups that are currently losing their exclusive privileges in the access to knowledge. We see the emergence of figures that reinvent the old role of “guide to the sources” and come from the most varied fields. Consider the human guides of “About.com”: What are they? Reference librarians? Journalists? Teachers? Engineers? Psychologists?
Creating, acquiring, and managing information have emerged as the central focus of the digital economy. Now we are all knowledge workers: We create and use information using Web sites, e-mail, databases, forums, etc. Creating and sharing information are the basis of social relationships within specific virtual communities. This sets up an enormous long-term challenge for every library or information center as well as for every professional involved in publishing and education. We need a new mind-set and we’re all learning as we go. Like cats moving through their fabled nine lives, I think that teachers and librarians should redefine their own roles beyond the confines of their respective traditions. In my opinion the most promising road today is that of helping people develop their own cognitive abilities, understand their own needs, and learn how to express them correctly.”