Saturday, August 12, 2006

The 'Librarian' Job Title - An Unending Marathon

Much has happened since the age old bibliomaniac, bibliographer, indexer, cataloger, and the process continues from traditional to modern and post-modern ...

"Melvil Dewey wanted to do away with the mousy librarian image, but he was also
obsessed with efficiency and scientific management, which likely led to the image of the overly efficient librarian, who is concerned with order and even silence (e.g., the shushing librarian). Continue reading FROM OLD MAIDS TO ACTION HEROES: LIBRARIANS AND THE MEANINGS OF LIBRARIAN STEREOTYPES, Christine Ann Lutz, Master of Arts, 2005 p. 32.

The 'Librarian' Job Title - GEDOVERIT, An Editorial Rant, By Stephen Abram
The debate over a single, best title for practicing librarians or the word librarian is distracting and truly counter-productive. The ultimate, important task of a job title is to communicate your role within your organization in the context of its unique culture and style. Think carefully about your title and review if it reflects your status and role within your enterprise or if it's meaning is only clear to your professional colleagues. Does it cause your users to make assumptions that aren't in your best interest? It matters not that your co-workers and peers call you "librarian" but that they understand what you offer and do and the high value you add....
Many of the library titles in the corporate world seem to have been pulled from the academic or public library setting (Head Librarian, Reference Librarian, Head, Technical Services, etc.). I suppose is a result of our history, but I don't believe that this is the optimum strategy. Your job title should match your corporate or organizational culture in order that it serves the strongest internal communication function. It may be more appropriate to use a title like "Manager, Library" or "Manager, Competitor Intelligence" in a corporate setting or "Information Research Officer" in a banking environment or "Information Scientist" in an R&D Centre. Continue reading

Ah, the "L" word.
The profession has been debating whether or not to use the "L word"—librarian—for quite some time. The debate has found its way through the naming of graduate (library) schools, which have emerged with multiple permutations, including School of Information (no L word), Graduate Library School (traditional), and hybrid—School of Library and Information Science/Studies. Over the course of the past 3 years or so, the Special Libraries Association has engaged in a similar debate. The key issue: Does the word "library" adequately convey the utility and value of what librarians, in this case, corporate or special librarians, contribute to their organizations? Continue reading: The Information Industry Revolution: Implications for Librarians, By George R. Plosker, Online, Vol. 27 No. 6 — Nov/Dec 2003

"I can now do personal research online. Am I more productive than if I had to go to the library? Of course, I am."
"Information isn't powerful. Information isn't power. ... Hey, who's got the most information? Librarians do! It's hard to imagine a group of people with less power than librarians." [quoted in Redefining a Profession, by Richard A. Danner]

See also:

  • Don't Let Your Dream Job Be Just a Dream, by Smiti Gandhi

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