Librarian, a profession by any other name...

Is the term “librarian” antiquated? The term derives from the Latin word librarius meaning “of books.” That hardly seems sufficient any more, does it? Why, with the advent of the Internet, the Kindle, and Google, books aren’t all we do any more. Should we be called Information Specialists? Or perhaps Information Professionals? Or how about…Informarians!

I’m only half joking about this. Really, more and more librarians are working outside of conventional libraries…away from books. Now, I LOVE books, so I’m not advocating anything against them. I’m just asking a simple question…does our title clearly define what our job is? As an avatarian (my term for an avatar librarian in Second Life, feel free to use it), I question this. I, myself, am proud to wear the title of librarian, but I thought I’d ask your opinions…Any thoughts?

Bunny Burnstein


cibertecarians, ebrarians, information managers, ??

At least for public libraries and public librarians, I believe shunning "librarian" because it relates to books has about the same future as shunning books themselves because, you know, they're so old fashioned. It's a great way to lose your supporters, your users, your funding...

Informarians? Unless Tom Cruise joins, that wouldn't even make it as a cult.

Every white-collar worker is an Information Professional. Information is a nicely vast and empty word. Librarians do better and deserve better.

If the latin means "of books' then what does books mean? If a book means a printed or written literary work then librarians are still "of the book" whether they are using a Kindle or a piece of paper.

Information Specialists -- Please no.
Informarians? What? Did someone already use dorkian?

The ian ending means "belonging to" or "of" -- so a avatarian means "belong to avatars"

Arcanum...I think you are taking this a little too seriously. -ian only has that meaning when it is not referring to a person...

Librarian...The keeper or custodian of a library. (OED)

Think of comedian, custodian, etc...

Besides, where is your sense of fun?

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