Thursday, July 28, 2005

Librarians under siege?

Carnegie Report article: Do Libraries Still Matter?. "The answer seems to be a resounding yes," he writes in the lead sentence, "because libraries are more than just a place to keep volumes on dusty shelves."

Johns Hopkins University president William R. Brody has pro-librarian piece in Dec. 6, 2004 issue of Johns Hopkins Gazette

"Librarians under threat" article by Tony Tysome p. 8 of Times Higher Education Supplement, Feb. 11, 2005, on plan at University of Wales, Bangor, to eliminate 8 out of 12 librarians

And here's the story from the Library Journal Academic Newswire Publishing Report, February 17, 2005:

LIBRARIANS In a move that has rankled librarians and teachers throughout the
United Kingdom, the University of Wales, Bangor, is proposing to eliminate
eight of its 12 librarians, on the premise that students can find most
information they need online. According to the GUARDIAN, a "consultation
document" issued by the university last month said that a £300,000 (about
$566,000 USD) savings could be realized by reducing the library staff to one
cataloguer, an acquisitions expert, a chief librarian, and a law librarian.
"The support to the academic and student communities from the qualified
subject librarians, whatever its contribution to the teaching and research
roles of the institution," reads the document, "is hard to justify in
value-for-money terms at a time when the process of literature searches is
substantially deskilled by online bibliographical resources."

Librarian Eileen Tilley told the newspaper, "The university thinks that
because we have the Internet it no longer needs skills teaching. I would say
[the Internet] has, in fact, complicated the resources...users are confused
and need guiding through this." Meanwhile, the university's registrar said
the document was to stimulate discussion and that no decisions have been

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