"In Age of Google, Librarians Get Shelved" WSJ Column

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"In Age of Google, Librarians Get Shelved" WSJ Column

Post by Admina on Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:10 pm

In Age of Google, Librarians Get Shelved
A library-science degree can’t compete with online search, but we still have a role.

Steve Barker wrote:The next time you visit a public library and see an older person at the information desk, someone near retirement age, take a good look. You may be seeing the last of a dying breed, the professional librarian.

Steve Barker wrote:The mood among some librarians is pessimistic. A New Mexico librarian recently told me: “I spend most of my time making change and showing people how to print from the computer or use the copier. I sure don’t get the reference questions like I used to.”

A colleague in the Washington, D.C., area expressed similar views: “If I didn’t spend my time helping people look for lost keys, wallets, jackets, sweaters, gloves, backpacks, cellphones and laptops, I’m not sure I’d even have a job.”

I would love to hear other librarians' thoughts after reading this Wall Street Journal column.

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Librarians in the Digital Age

Post by arkay on Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:40 pm

Librarians in the Digital Age:A response to the Wall Street Journal column




Todaro & Feldman wrote:In response to a controversial January 10 opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal by librarian Steve Barker, librarians around the country wrote to the paper to set the record straight about their real roles in the age of Google. ALA President Sari Feldman and President-Elect Julie Todaro also wrote in, though only a small portion of their letter appeared in the roundup of responses. (Please note that The Wall Street Journal has a paywall and requires a subscription for reading both links.)
 
The link provides their full response.  It wasn't as pointed as it should've been; it was just a series of vague anecdotes. It read like a vanilla copy side-blurb in a glossy ad-zine, but I'm not sure what I really expected.

It's just not what I would've hoped.  Oh, well.  At least it was addressed.

Although I wonder what happens to Steve Barker and his ilk when they disparage the profession in (practically-speaking) international publications willy-nilly.   Maybe not much.  A lot of us are lambs posturing as info-warriors, but I can't pretend I have any clue what the culture of the upper echelons of ALA are like.

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