Librarians curate

“…curation is a time-honoured task that will exist regardless of the tools used.”


Gerrit Visser (2011) says curators are people who continually finds, groups, organises and shares information resources. He might as well be describing what a librarian does. We provide access to information – to reliable, appropriate and relevant information sources, specifically selected (curated if you must) for a particular audience, be it teachers or students. We create balanced collections of sources, created from different media and published formats. We annotate our sources, give credit to where we found them, add comments and contextualise.

Collections of information sources are regularly evaluated for value and limitations and expanded and weeded as needed. We have been creating pathfinders and libguides ever since we ditched vertical files.

We model our curation skills and habits to colleagues and students and help them develop the skills and habits needed to become curators themselves. We identify and suggest tools with which to curate.

Curation, resource selection, collection development, call it what you must, has always been an integral part of what librarians do. This role has become more, not less, important in the digital age. In the digital age we curate digital collections, not only of information sources, but of apps and other software tools. We experiment and evaluate tools in the ever-changing online world.

We go further than curation. We talk about information overload, filter bubbles, ethical use of the information we find in resources, intellectual property rights, creative commons, remixing and more. We inform and educate. We also curate.


Robertson, N. D. (n.d.). Content curation and the school librarian. Retrieved September 16, 2017, from American Library Association website:

Visser, G. (2011, November 25). Gerrit Visser: Use smart knowledge networks to be a curator.