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Posts Tagged ‘library trends’

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This column appeared in the Journal on February 29, 2008. Past columns can be read at juliewinkelstein.com

“It looks like the ‘transformation’ we seek for libraries and librarianship may turn out to be more of a ‘deskilling’ of library jobs than an enhancement of the profession…” The first sentence in “Blatant Berry: The Vanishing Librarians” by John N. Berry III, from February 15, 2008 “Library Journal” (libraryjournal.com)          

John Berry’s “Talkback” piece, is short, strongly worded and definitely worth reading. The gist of it, however, is that he is concerned the once professional responsibilities of professional librarians are “being dumbed down into the duties of retail clerks or the robotic responses of machines.” He mentions, too, that libraries are doing away with circulation and reference desks, and both in-house catalogers and librarians who choose the library materials. Instead, he says, there are wandering librarians and “destination” libraries that “resemble the cookie-cutter design of the grocery stores.” He bemoans the use of the word customer instead of library patron, which is what most of us call those who use our libraries. (more…)

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