Today’s Librarian: Hip, Delusional, and Doomed

Today’s Librarian: Hip, Delusional, and Doomed:

"The response of some librarians to the digital revolution is described by as follows: “Some wear tattoos, piercings and dress like they belong on the streets of Brooklyn instead of behind bookshelves. They’re also trying on new titles. Instead of librarians, they’re ‘information specialists’ or ‘information scientists.’ “ Frankly, I don’t care if my librarian “wears” tattoos or piercings, though the poor choice of verb is an inadvertent indicator of the superficiality of the gesture, and I don’t care if they call themselves “librarians,” “information scientists” or “corporeal data facilitators.” What I care about is if my librarian is helping, in his or her small way, to maintain our culture and our civilization, or whether he or she is acquiescing, in a limp and laughable way, to its degradation."


implied argument: "the internet and other forms of modern information retrieval are bad...because I think they are."

As a school librarian in the UK I had not heard of CNN's comment. The title of a librarian is not what is important (for example I am called a library assistant though I am a school librarian). I agree it is what is done that matters, however there are also traditions and expectaitons to be upheld. A library does, and should, hold a place in a community, therefore, just like any other employee at any place which is central to it's community, librarians will be expected to conform to people's expectations. Libraries have been in communities for hundreds of years, over time expectations have built up, therefore although one doesnt have to conform to them, one must be aware that they are there.

I think the author of this post has some good concerns. While we are more and more information technologists rather than librarians, it is vitally important to for libaries to remain a cultural bulwark for the community. The library for which I work does a good deal of progressive programs, but it is ultimately about the collection. Virtual collections are great until a server crashes or you have rolling blackouts, then the strength of your real collection must shine.