No More Librarians?? 2

Karl Fisch blogs:

Dan Maas, my district’s CIO, has a new post titled Sunset for the Librarian:

So what’s in a name? Well, everything. A name conjures an image, a shared understanding and it is from these understandings that we begin to do the work at hand. The term library is rooted in the latin word libriwhich means paper or books. The very terms library and librarian are obstacles to the future of this critical school service because the business is no longer based in the media of paper and the book. In fact, I don’t even like the term media center because the emphasis is still on the containers of information…

He goes on to suggest some possible new names for the library and the librarian (Scholar Center and Scholar in Residence). I’m not sure he’s quite nailed the right name yet, but I do think it’s an interesting topic to think about. He goes on to ask:

So, if we were going to write a new job description for the Scholar in Residence at your school, what items would you include?

If you have some thoughts, head on over to his blog and leave a comment.

We write a paper on the “L Word” and its usefulness every semester in LIS701. Usually, the concensus is that the word library transcends just books. What do you think? Please head over and comment… I think something is lost if the school library becomes the Scholar Center.

2 thoughts on “No More Librarians??

  • Mary Ellen Petrich

    I agree that library is now used to represent more than just a collection of books and papers. Software programmers use ‘library’ to mean a collection of code bits that they can drop into their code. Electronics engineers use ‘library’ to mean a collection of hardware designs for the same purpose. Remember the library that loans out cake pans?
    Has anyone else read Edmund Lester Pearson’s hilarious essays about librarians that start an annex to collect fictional weapons and fictional animals?

    What interests me more is how focussed librarians are on analyzing themselves and their profession. I’m currently in library school. In my first term, one of my classes spent two weeks on this topic. We read essays about public perceptions of librarians. We read popular novels and watched movies. I doubt that nurses or accountants or teachers or journalists do this. Are we so interested in metadata that we must also analyze ourselves?

  • Rosemary

    What’s in a name? A plumber no longer works with lead pipes (plumber coming from the latin plumbum – or lead), they install our airconditioning and do our gas stovetops, but that’s ok, the name has evolved with the profession. Isn’t it going to be easier to help our patrons redefine the word Library than it is to teach them what an “Information Resource Centre” or an “Inforamtion Commons” is (notice how many people still call these places “the Library”?)

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