HSLG Virtual Journal Club, 21 April 2021, 11am – 11.45am
Wikipedia version of “Librarian”, available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Librarian
Suggested questions by Anne Madden:
- Does this Wikipedia entry feel like it was written by a librarian? See also the “Talk” tab – any comments? Does it feel neutral or do pro or con librarian views come across? If you were considering librarianship as a career, would this piece encourage or deter you?
- Are librarians still “custodians” or keepers of knowledge or has this role now passed to publishers? If so, where does that leave librarians?
- Looking at the ownership or sponsorship of the earliest libraries, how much credence should we give any surviving texts from this era? What may have been the driving force for creating these libraries?
- In the 1870’s, librarian tasks were considered to be “”Eminently Suited to Girls and Women.” Do you think this was based on convenience or related to the position of women in society at the time? Or for some other reason?
- “The CDC had earlier named librarians as key public health staff to support COVID-19 case investigation and contact tracing.” What librarian skills would have led them to that conclusion? What image does it seem to portray of librarians? Is it an image we should promote?
- Copyright isn’t mentioned either. In fact, in the 17th Century, a librarian was seen as a “scribe, one who copies books”. Do librarians need more legal skills to address copyright and publisher licencing issues, and should they be the first port of call for these issues?
- If you were to add a section on Health Librarians, what additional roles or skills would you include? What non-typical skills are you called on to provide in your service?
- Looking at the list of “additional responsibilities”, are the core roles of librarians still intact? What does this list suggest about assumptions on librarian values?
- When it comes to librarian education, there is very little consensus across the globe. Steve McKinzie argues that an academic qualification is required for e.g. reference interview and doesn’t rate “special training”. In our own experience, what has been the role of any academic qualification and of CPD/special training?
- Technology: “librarians must continually adapt to new formats”. Instead of adapting, should we be leading or collaborating in developments in this field?
- Librarian stereotypes – help! Is this seriously still true? Anyone have any personal experiences of any of this? Do we inspire fear – timidly??