Does the Digital Age Remove the Need for a Human Librarian?

Here’s a link to an article on the need for librarians in the age where anyone can look up anything on the internet. While I appreciate Jessamyn West’s initial position, I think the interview bit she posted sits better with my own worldview (however misguided) on the librarian’s role in our society.

It is wrong to assume that a librarian only sits there and looks up books or information or shelves books or checks books in and out. I worked in both my high school library for a couple of years and then a public library for several months after that. Much of that work is completed by student workers and others without the training to be a full librarian.

While a librarian can do these tasks when needed, they are fulfilling other roles. They are creating educational experiences, trying to help build literacy and a love of reading in the public they serve. They help with locating obscure pieces of information. They make sure that their collection is serving the public by making sure materials are available and in usable condition.

They preserve knowledge. They disseminate knowledge. They encourage others to learn how to find knowledge, and many of them make it quite enjoyable.

In my own opinion, even in these changing times, there will always be a need for librarians in the exact same way there will always be a need for teachers.

Any librarian who stumbles on this and thinks my worldview is off is welcomed to correct me.

Found via


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