Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Mon Nov 5 11:35:58 EST 2001

On Mon, 5 Nov 2001 11:47:48 +0000, Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk wrote:

>I  can't  of  course  speak  for  management,  but it looks like we'll be losing
>anybody  who  can  be  described  as  a  real  librarian, and having our library
>functions  carried  out  by our computing support people, or something.  Can you
>imagine...?   I spoke to one of our librarians this morning, and needless to say
>they  are  not  happy!   I've  submitted  a  complaint  through  one  of the new
>electronic bully-tin boards, but I don't think it will have much effect.

This is already happening here in the public school system.  A friend of
mine from church works in a public school library, and not only is she
shuttled around from school to school (because they can't afford a full-time
librarian, ditto the full-time school nurse), but they've stopped hiring
people with library science degrees and hiring "library assistants" or some
other euphemism for "not experienced."  And getting the library science
degree is getting harder too, because some universities have dropped it.  (I
think my own alma mater is one.  Bummer.)

To be honest, I was sort of happy because she said it wouldn't be hard for
ME to get hired in this capacity, given the English degree, which would mean
I could fulfil my destiny without going back to school.  But it's sort of
depressing in general.  Right now, in our county library system (where once
again I owe a lot in late fines) there's two separate staffs, the library
staff and the computer staff.  Why they aren't just retraining their
librarians, I don't know.  The ones I spoke to, when I had a question about
something the web site promised but didn't deliver, seemed a little
disconcerted about the situation.

I wonder if existing library science programs have addressed this?  Is it a
temporary problem until we get hordes of technologically-trained librarians?

Melissa Proffitt

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