Tuesday, October 25, 2005

De-selection or destruction?

This image, entitled The Three Friends was digitally photographed from a book rescued from a library dumpster. It's title: "Beautiful Gems of Thoughtful Sentiment: a vast treasury of choice productions in poetry, prose, and song from the literature and music of all ages." It's publication information is as follows: "Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1890, by Henry Davenport Northrop, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washinton, D. C."

This gem, a book 116 years old, may have no longer fit the collection criteria of this particular library. It is disturbing that the dumpster was to be its next home!

NOTE: Oct. 31/05 listed on www.abebooks.com as $154.99 US

Saturday, October 22, 2005

A Giant Step from the Front

Fueled by financial constraint and opportunities for the application of new technologies, a radical restructuring of library work is underway. A recent study by Leckie and Brett (1997) reveals that, of all the work roles performed by librarians, the opportunity to be in direct contact with patrons remains the most highly regarded, yet the work of librarians is rapidly being reorganized in such a way that this opportunity for contact may become increasingly rare. As the data from the present study reveal, when para- and sub-professional staff are "empowered" to assume more front-line tasks formerly carried out by professionals, librarians are leaving behind what, for many, are the most significant roles in their work repertoire, thereby taking a "giant step back from the front."

-Roma Harris
-Victoria Marshall

Source: Library Trends; Winter98, Vol. 46 Issue 3, p564, 17p, 1 chart

"There's no such thing as a good education without ... professional librarians."

"Librarians are being replaced by library clerks without degrees in library science."

"The community and local politicians last week rallied around the Holmesburg branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia in opposition of the city's proposed cuts in hours and librarians."

Source: http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=14165821&BRD=2340&PAG=461&dept_id=488595&rfi=6>

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!