Yesterday I mentioned the professional debate that is going on around Tim Coates's views on where public libraries are going wrong. I then mentioned that Robert Gent of Derbyshire libraries had joined this debate in the pages of the Gazette.
On the 3rd May I mentioned Sheila Webber's discussion of the "Two cultures" in librarianship - the split between those who communicate via the web and those who rely on traditional methods. The Coates debate illustrates this point.
Robert was using the traditional media to reply to Tim Coates. That is not to say that Robert is a "web sceptic" but his audience for this piece would be those librarians who use print journals to keep themselves informed of professional issues.
Another local librarian is also very active in this debate. Pete Smith is Curriculum Learning Resource Specialist at Rotherham College of Arts and Technology. He has a personal blog where he discusses professional issues including the views of Mr Coates. Pete has made a number of postings on this issue on the CILIP Communities website in the Advocacy thread. He has also posted comments on Tim Coates own blog, often taking issue with Tim's assertions. Finally he has just posted a comment on Sintoblog. Pete is clearly part of the "webbed" community.
Sheila was asking if these are two separate communities and if they are growing together or growing apart? I suspect that the major fault line is between those librarians who are interested in discussing professional issues and those who are not. However, the division between "webbed" and "web-sceptics" is real and people in both camps should think about making more links.