Ten Reasons Why ‘Professional Librarian’ is an Oxymoron

here’s something to get you spluttering/ thinking/ weeping/ fighting* …. (delete as appropriate)

This came from Ryan Deschamps via David Rothman and eventually the Health Informationist.

1. Librarians Have No Monopoly on the Activities They Claim
2. There are No Consequences For Failing to Adhere to Ethical Practices
3. Librarianship is Too Generalized to Claim Any Expertise
4. ’Librarian’ Assumes a Place of Work, Rather than the Work Itself
5. Peer Review in Librarianship Does Not Work Because There is No Competitive Process to Go With It
6. Values Are Not Enough
7. The Primary Motivation for Professionalization is the Monopoly of Labor
8. Accredited Library Schools Do Not Adequately Prepare Students for Library Work
9. Competing Professions Are Offering Different Paradigms to Achieve the Same Goals
10. Nobody Can Name a ‘Great’ Librarian

#4 makes me laugh – especially considering the fact that I work in Cambridge! and #8 very accurately reflects my experience of library school (admitedly a few years ago now)

what do you reckon??

and on top of this, Peter Murray Rust has got 12 suggestions on how Librarians can build the future – any one up for it?

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4 Responses to Ten Reasons Why ‘Professional Librarian’ is an Oxymoron

  1. TraineeMermaid says:

    Interesting list. I wonder whether these comments could also be applied to others – social workers, estate agents and so on?
    I heard a talk at a conference a while ago about how “Collection management” was an invention from the days of plenty when libraries could afford to purchase stock “just in case” rather than the kind of “just in time” delivery we have moved to and the “on demand” model of e-resources where we seem to be going.

    • ilk21 says:

      well, couldn’t collection management be applied to doing a filtering job on the mass of resources which are available on the web? pulling together high quality resources to say library users having to go through that process themselves?
      And couldn’t collection management be applied in another direction – helping library users manage their collection of articles/resources which they gather together for their PhDs, etc? Helping them with zotero,endnote, mendeley etc is collection management, isn’t it?

    • ilk21 says:

      what he a great librarian – I fear he would be too easily distracted from getting the cataloguing done….?

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