Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Bunheads are Dead

Conjure up a picture of today’s librarian, and you are likely to be wrong. Professional librarians are information analysts, freedom of information and protection of privacy officers, family literacy specialists, Internet trainers, teen specialists, genealogists, web designers and technologists, database managers, historical researchers, information brokers … indeed, few have the title of “librarian” but all have the master’s degree in Library and Information Science (LIS).

These days, your school librarian more likely than not is a teacher or part-time aide assigned to library duty. And the customer service desks at your public library more likely are staffed with paraprofessionals. Today’s MLIS holders are typically managers of agencies, departments, and systems -less visible to the public than the frontline trained technicians and assistants that they oversee, and highly skilled in emerging technologies like Web 2.0 and Second Life.