Where have all the librarians gone?


U.S. News has this interesting piece on the shift of librarians from school and public libraries to Internet companies.\"Checked out a school library lately? You may be in for a shock. Creaky old card catalogs have given way to computers; massive rows of encyclopedia volumes have dwindled into single CD-ROMs or disappeared into online databases. And while books still abound, it\'s getting harder and harder to find that other familiar fixture: a qualified librarian\"\"For a century, school libraries have been nurturing young minds and broadening the public\'s horizons. But low pay, coupled with increased workloads, has rocked what industrialist Andrew Carnegie called \"democracy\'s cradles.\" As the Information Age roars into high gear, and as new studies have found a compelling link between academic achievement and strong school libraries, the keepers of America\'s repositories of knowledge are bailing out. By 2005, researchers project a need for nearly 25,000 media specialists.\"

\"Long time passing. Some were eliminated in budget cuts, along with bus drivers and custodians. Many others have jumped–like their peers in public libraries–to lucrative perches as corporate information specialists or dot-com data sleuths. \"Many library-science students are getting much better job offers from private companies,\" says Philip Turner, dean of the library science school at the University of North Texas.\"

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