Saturday, September 09, 2017

The Graphic Says it All!

Source: Library Workers Facts + Figures, 2016 Dept. for Professional Employees

Saturday, October 29, 2016


The obsolescence of librarianship is the elephant in the room (Steven Bell,“Promise and Peril of AI for Academic Librarians,” From the Bell Tower, We as librarians refuse to address the eminent demise of our beloved profession. Isn’t it our duty to examine the ugly truth and share it with those hoping to enter a career for life?

The level of denial within our profession has reached frantic proportions. The professional literature is awash with articles on ways to keep librarians employed and remain relevant to stakeholders. A review of recent library job descriptions illustrates we will do anything, or become anybody, to stay relevant: patent and copyright attorneys (copyright and scholarly librarians), in-house statisticians (data librarians, cheminformaticists),and data managers of electronic health records (medical informaticists).

In a real stretch, librarians at the San Diego Public Library are trained to identify victims of sex trafficking. I didn’t go into librarianship to become a social worker or statistician. This denial of our true professional core [is] very sad....

—Barbara A. Wood, Grad. Libn., Health & Human Svcs., Kennesaw State Univ., GA
Source: Wood, Barbara A. 2016. "Obsolete profession." Library Journal 141, no. 12: 12.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Newfoundland and Labrador, deprofessionalization concerns

"In the Fall of 2015, a new Executive Director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Library (NLPL) system was appointed. The original job posting for the position highlights the desired qualifications of applicants, as follows: “The required knowledge and abilities would normally be acquired through successful completion of a Master (sic) degree in Business, Finance, Public Administration, Library Science or related field from an accredited university, plus significant managerial experience.”

This excerpt from the job advertisement highlights a trend that is becoming a growing concern for professional librarians, and for the NLLA: the systematic deprofessionalization of librarianship within the NLPL. Only a librarian, having graduated from an ALA accredited graduate program in Library Science/ Studies, can fully understand the unique needs and concerns of libraries, and act effectively on behalf of their libraries, users, and employees, in this role; yet, nowhere in this ad, is an ALA graduate degree in Library Science required. In fact, a background in Library Science is listed only after other qualifications which are not designed to equip professionals to work and function as Librarians.

"Despite these competences that can only be acquired through the completion of a Master’s degree in Library Science, the NLPL’s actions suggest that the organization does not value professional librarians. As the voice of Newfoundland and Labrador libraries and library workers, it concerns the NLLA deeply that the NLPL appears to be undergoing this process of systematic deprofessionalization. In addition to this most recent position, it is our understanding that the Regional Manager for the Central Division was hired last year based on a similar advertised set of qualifications; and that, as a result, neither the current Executive Director nor the Regional Manager for the Central Division hold a Master’s degree in Library Science from and ALA accredited program. Previously, both these positions were occupied by individuals with professional librarian qualifications."

Full Article

Saturday, August 08, 2015

A Diminishing Profession

Excerpt from an interview at the,Hiring Librarians, blog, July 2015

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?
√ 3-4

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?
√ 1

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?
√ There are fewer positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?
√ Yes

Friday, March 13, 2015

Bill C-51, Government's Excuse to Watch YOU!

Privacy Commissioner raises concerns about Bill C-51

Daniel Therrien, Privacy Commissioner of Canada

"The debate over the federal government’s new anti-terrorism bill is raising profound questions about the tension between privacy and security.

Most Canadians would agree that terrorism represents a growing threat and that we must respond with appropriate national security measures when new threats arise. But at what cost?

In my view, Bill C-51 in its current form would fail to provide Canadians with what they want and expect: legislation that protects both their safety and their privacy. The proposed legislation does not strike the right balance.

The scale of information sharing between government departments and agencies being proposed in this bill is unprecedented. The new powers that would be created are excessive and the privacy safeguards being proposed are seriously deficient.

All Canadians – not only terrorism suspects – will be caught in this web. Bill C-51 opens the door to collecting, analysing and potentially keeping forever the personal information of all Canadians in order to find the virtual needle in the haystack. To my mind, that goes too far.

This is really about Big Data, which relies on massive amounts of information that can be analyzed algorithmically to spot trends, predict behaviours and make connections. The implications for privacy are serious – especially when we are talking about the highly sensitive information that Canadians entrust to their government.

The legislation would allow for the personal information of Canadians to be shared if it is deemed “relevant” to the detection of new security threats. That’s an extremely broad standard that suggests the bar to permit the sharing of Canadians’ personal information has been set far too low.

In this way, the Bill would provide 17 federal government agencies with almost limitless powers to monitor and profile ordinary Canadians, with a view to identifying security threats among them.,/p>

The end result is that national security agencies would potentially be aware of all interactions that all Canadians have with their government. That would include, for example, a person’s tax information and details about a person’s business and vacation travel.

While the potential to know virtually everything about everyone may well identify some new threats, the loss of privacy is clearly excessive."

Full comments:

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Winter Greetings!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Librarians and Archivists are devalued

31 October & 1 November, 2014
A Conference by the Canadian Association of University Teachers

"Academic librarians and archivists have built workplaces dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge and characterized by professionalism and secure employment. But this model is threatened by administrators, politicians and business leaders pushing an agenda to undermine economic security, erode the public good and devalue librarianship and archival practice. In response our community has had to defend colleagues under attack, protect core employment rights and intervene in broader public policy debates.

The purpose of this conference is to boost our collective ability to defend and advance the interests of academic librarians and archivists. Through presentations (part one) and hands-on practice (part two), the event will explore how to conceptualize a campaign, effectively incorporate visual design and communication elements, and build alliances to move issues forward. Join with colleagues from across the country and CAUT staff to hone the campaign skills necessary to confront the challenges our community faces." -- site.