Are Librarians Totally Obsolete?

zanne writes "Are libraries and librarians obsolete? No way, man! Courtesy of,
here are 33 reasons why we still kick tush!"
Will Sherman says I Was Wrong, As libraries' relevance comes into question, they face an existential crisis at a time they are perhaps needed the most. Despite their perceived obsoleteness in the digital age both libraries and librarians are irreplaceable for many reasons. 33, in fact.Society is not ready to abandon the library, and it probably won't ever be. Libraries can adapt to social and technological changes, but they can't be replaced.


In the book Scrolling Forward: Making Sense of Documents in the Digital Age I found some of the answer about why libraries will continue to be relevant.

Chapter 7 of the book is titled Libraries and the Anxiety of Order.

Here is one paragraph from Chapter 7:
Of course it isn't just stores or shopping malls that need to be constantly maintained. Everything does. Gardens go to seed, bridges fall down, clothes become frayed and stained, The same is true for documents. Without proper care they decay, lose their intelligility and intellectual currency, and become inaccessible. And this isn't just true of paper documents. We are quickly discovering that digital materials, too, need to be properly tended. Web pages disappear and links break. Digital media - floppy disks, CD-ROMs, and so on - degrade after a matter of years, and the files stored on them have to be copied to new media if they are to be preserved.

Later in the chapter the author provides the opening paragraph from a 1909 Library Bureau Catalog. Library Bureau was the company founded by Dewey to sell library supplies.

The paragraph reads:
The development of library science during the last quarter century has made it evident that a library in the true sense is not merely a certain number of books, but rather a collection of books so arranged that they may be conveniently used for reading or reference. Five thousand well-choosen volumes classified and administered according to modern methods may better deserve the name of library than four times the number carelessly or erratically arranged, even though the larger collection might contain every volume to be found in the smaller group.

Here is a link to the book.

I always wonder what motivates predictions like these. It certainly isn't the typical scene at a public library that's so full of users it's bursting at the seams.Digital is nice but you've got a voracious public out there crying out for library services -- "as place".This one really isn't that hard to figure out: all you have to do is go to your local library branch and have a look.

As a matter of fact librarians are obsolete and if you notice a lot of people that come in the door of a library go to clerical help before librarians. I really don't think that librarians are very outgoing to the public and if they can get by unnoticed in a day that is fine with them. They never see a need to help anyone and do it enthusiastically. If things don't change you will see people in those jobs that would be called a libray search specialist not librarian but they can do just as good. As a matter of fact a while back if you were in the library system for any real length of time you were as they say "owled in" you had enough experience to do the work of a librarian. Most people don't go to librarians if they can get the information on their own because librarians seem to be a hindrance. Some times librarians have more chat and meeting time in a library while makings others toe the mark and they get paid the most and do the least. When you see someone sitting at a desk all day long with pretty much nothing else to do -what impression would you get? And the higher up you go the less work and more money it gets to be. If things are successful for a libray you would have to say that not only do a lot of great ideas come from the mere support staff not librarian but the reason any library is popular is because of the clerical help that goes out of their way for people. That is a fact. Librarians are very much aloof.

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