Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Is there a future for librarians on the reference desk?

The increasing trend to replace librarians on the reference desk with other library staff has given rise to this question. We invite comments and anecdotes from libraries that have experienced this trend to deskill librarians.

An article of interest and something to ponder:

Save Professionalism
By Bill Crowley — September 1, 2005
The public library must be respositioned as an educational institution!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

They say that the Internet and Google have reduced the need for professionals on the reference desk yet ironically Google itself has introduced a relatively new service called Google Answers where "more than 500 carefully screened Researchers are ready to answer your question for as little as $2.50 -- usually within 24 hours." (site)

In the library cosmos, these "carefully screened researchers" are librarians, not library technicians, not library assistants and not volunteers. Google sees the value of such individuals ...

Tuesday, October 25, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For more on Google Answers as a librarian sweatshop however, see: http://www.infotoday.com/cilmag/oct03/west.shtml

Cheap labour is still the main Rule of the Game.

Friday, October 28, 2005  

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