Librarianship: Then and Now.

For a Management class assignment I am required to watch a video on youtube entitled “The Librarian 1947 Vocational Guidance Films” found here: We need to look at the film and write a blog post about the video.

The video is a general purpose informational video, that reminded me of those Donald Duck cartoons with the narrator talking in the background. This video begins by asking if the viewer has a love of books and people, “if so Librarianship may be for you.” I understand that Libraries have changed in the last 74 years, but it goes on to say that there are many Library types, but librarians are generally all the same. This seems like an over generalization of the field.

The description of Librarian types, which seems like a contradiction of the generalization made earlier describes librarians in a variety of roles, some which are now handled by Library technicians such as cataloguer and circulation librarians and puts elementary school librarians in the same category as academic librarians. Alot has changed since then, and many of the jobs mentioned are either outsourced or more narrowly defined. It also briefly mentions the library administrator as a business type, and there is no mention of the average librarian taking any managerial role at all.

The film goes on to describe certain types of librarians such as subject specialists and rural libraians being part of an expanding field. The reality of it today is these types of librarians are fading, and the notion of expanding those fields is rediculous in todays economy.

It goes into the education required for Librarians at the time. The video makes mention of Librarians generally needing a bachelors in librarianship, but some librarian jobs can be done by those with other semi-relevant degrees. If I walked into an interview today with those qualifications I would be laughed out of the interview.

The video also describes librarianship as a lucrative career path, it is considered a secure job with similar salary to other professionals. Once again this is laughable. The reality is it is a descent paying job that is usually contract work, 3-5 years seems to be the feel I get from many of my professors.

The video ends by claiming there is a need for thousands of librarians. The job market is nothing like it was in the 1940’s. Overall, the video is entertaining and an interesting look at the history of librarianship. As an educational video on libraianship for librarians it is an extremley outdated source, and I find it sad that this course would use it.

One thought on “Librarianship: Then and Now.

  1. Pingback: Value Statements | Library Legend

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