People Interact

Blog about people-centered design by Lisa Chow and Sandra Sajonas.

Are YOU T-Shaped?

As the world watches the evolution of libraries, does anyone consider the backbone of the library; the librarians? As people question the value of libraries, do they consider the value of librarians?  We know we are valuable, but does anyone else?

For librarians to successfully transition into the future and prove their value they must respond to the emerging trends in the work world and become T-shaped professionals.  No, this is not in reference to your body type.

Often used in the IT and HR industries, “T-shaped people are individuals who are experts or specialists in a core skill but also have a broad range of skills in other areas.”  ( They can also be called generalizing specialists, craftspeople, multi-disciplinary developers and cross-functional developers.

Being an information professional will become more of a role and less a title.  Information professionals will become valued for their skills, ideas, abilities and contribution to an organization’s overall mission rather than subject expertise and content knowledge.  That connection is crucial…the information professional isn’t just a nice addition or supplement to the organization but plays a crucial role.

How do we become T-shaped?

  • Focus on skills, especially transferable and cross-functional skills, soft skills
  • FLEXIBILITY is key
  • Adopt a holistic, systems thinking attitude
  • Develop project management skills
  • Incorporate practical, hands-on experience into your professional development

6 responses to “Are YOU T-Shaped?

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