Role of the librarian in the electronic library
When I read our literature, I wonder if we are at a crossroads, a crisis, a transition or a transformation. We are called everything from cybrarians, to resource managers, to intelligence professionals to dodo birds and unemployed. (Hathorn 1997)
However, let me assure you--I am a librarian. I work in a library at The Ohio State University which supports the teaching, research and service needs of the College of Veterinary Medicine independent of the format, medium or container in which information resides.
Most of us accepted automated circulation procedures many years ago. Now technology is affecting how we do our interlibrary loan, how we handle our closed reserve, how we order materials, how we respond to reference questions, how we develop our collections and how we preserve them. Most of us work in tax supported institutions, and all signs indicate that digital libraries are going to be astronomically more expensive to stock, maintain and preserve than the libraries we use to manage. (Tennant 1997) . We need to educate our deans and provosts that the \"freedom to use information\" is not the same as \"free information\"--it comes at a very high price. (Caporusso 1998) The final evolution of our careers may be to turn us all into fund raisers. I\'m looking forward to hearing how you are meeting these challenges at your institutions.