Threads

As detailed throughout this Atlas, knowledge is not simply a set of accumulated facts but rather a web of personal truths and their relationship to one another (the context). As such, this Atlas is not simply a list of definitions about librarianship but a set of agreements with relationships, with many agreements contextualizing any single agreement. Threads are a construct—a way of explaining the arrangement and logic that sit around the agreements. Threads are context and a means of understanding the full set of agreements and relationships.

The Threads of the Atlas are organized around the six major concepts in the mission of librarians, seen highlighted here:

The mission of librarians is to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communities.

Rather than take each Thread in order, I present them in a building sequence. I first establish the case for a new mission and definition of librarianship in the “Mission” Thread, and I then lay the foundations of this new mission in the way knowledge is created. Upon this foundation, I lay the means of facilitating knowledge creation—the proposed role for librarians—and examine the concept of communities in today’s increasingly interconnected world. Finally, I show the importance of action and activism, and I discuss the particular skills, values, and preparation of new librarians.

In general, the Threads form a sort of funnel, starting with broad concepts (the conceptual foundations of new librarianship) and then moving to more narrowly conceived examples and aspects. Each thread builds on the previous. So that an example in the “Communities” Thread is an expression of how people create knowledge outlined in the “Knowledge” Thread, which helps reinforce a worldview first put forth in the “Mission” Thread.