What is a librarian?

Library Journal has a short article about a session at the recent PLA conference in Boston, titled “Is the MLS Needed for a Career in Public Librarianship?”. Daniel Walters, director of the Las Vegas–Clark County Library District, sees nothing wrong with hiring non librarians, especially in technical areas such as cataloging. Cataloging is being outsourced in many libraries. Michael Gorman, president of ALA, took issue with outsourcing, saying to leads to lower standards.

I don’t know who’s right on that score, it depends who you outsource to I suppose. But Gorman has a great quote in this article in response to whether library science and information science are the same discipline. “Information people work in kiosks, librarians work in libraries.”

Some may liken this quote to the now famous “blog people” article. But Gorman has a point when he says that the ALA degree accreditation system is flawed. What ALA accredited programs need is a well defined core. If a degree is going to be accredited by the American Library Association, it needs to prepare librarians. If you can get an ALA degree without having taken a collection development course or a reference course, something is wrong.

I’ve got nothing against the I schools, I’m a tech oriented library person myself. Nor do I think information science and library science are entirely separate. But you have to wonder if LIS programs shouldn’t offer different degrees for information science and library science.

The American Library Association has absolute power

According to PABBIS (Parents Against Bad Books in Schools) “ALA will soon have absolute power in deciding what is appropriate in English class and the libraries for all America’s children”

ALA and absolute power? Clearly these people have never been to any ALA meetings. I for one welcome our new librarian overlords. 🙂

For those of you out of the overlord loop, here you go. Overlords can be anyone, not just librarians. 🙂

Delicious Library news

In case anyone is confused (or hungry) I’m talking about the personal library software for the Mac, Delicious Library. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has a good article about Delicious Monster, the company behind Delicious Library.

I’ve played around with Delicious Library, I’m not that good with scanning barcodes with my iSight camera. For the article it sounds like iSight scanning is really difficult with the built in iSights on the newest Macs. I’m eventually going to register the software and get a wireless barcode scanner.

One problem I have with Delicious Library is that you are pretty much stuck with data from Amazon. Booxter, from Deep Prose Software, allows you to get data from many sources, including the Library of Congress. However, Delicious Library is a much more user friendly piece of software.

Are you a Librarian?

I did pretty well on the test, the questions are pretty focused on American Library History, I’m pretty sure the questions I missed were the put Dewey and LC in the right order. I’m not that good of a cataloger. 🙂 Questions about the test, such as the right answers,can be directed here.

Head Librarian

You scored 86% on knowledge of librarianship.
No pun intended. You know your stuff! Not only do you know the basics, but you know your library history, your who’s who, your politics, and your technicalities. You are a true-blue librarian.

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:

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You scored higher than 99% on knowledge

Link: The Are You a Librarian Test written by attention on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Library 2.0

Library 2.0 is a nice buzzword, but what does it mean? Right now “Library 2.0” seems to be as well defined a term as “information society. Current thinking about Library 2.0 seems to center around library information technologies.

But it’s more technology centered than people centered. New technologies are pointless if they’re not used. Michael (and others) get it, Library 2.0 is people! (insert Soylent Green joke here) Library 2.0 is an extension of the “library as place” idea and needs to focus on ” the library in the life of the user”.