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.


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