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By Herbert S. White

White's formerly released articles and speeches (most provided after 1989) establish and handle severe matters that diversity from library schooling, investment, and management to know-how, ethics, and burnout. even if usually brought with humor, White's probing and occasionally debatable commentaries at the possibilities and risks to the occupation are sure to impress severe notion. Divided into 3 sections, the publication covers Librarians, Their Self-Image, and the Perceptions that outline Their training; Librarians and Their position, As outlined via Them and via Others; and Librarians within the merciless international of Politics and funds. the writer introduces each one part with common reviews. A needs to for the library expert shelf and an invaluable supplementary textual content for administration and concerns classes in library faculties.

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Extra info for At the Crossroads: Librarians on the Information Superhighway

Sample text

Indeed, there are things in this volume that, were I to write them today, I would write differently. It is certainly my hope that readers will agree with some of what I have said. However, my primary purpose in everything I have said to hundreds of audiences, written for publication, and taught in the classroom is to get people to think about their value systems, to assess and reassess their priorities, and to be aware that there are others who consider their own causes right and virtuous, who disagree with the priorities of librarians without automatically becoming evil people.

The point is that academic librarians, like their public librarian colleagues, have demanded none of these things. They agonize, they complain, and they feel personally guilty and personally responsible. Can a profession so easily distracted from its own agenda by outside forces even find the time and energy to develop an agenda? There are many definitions of professions, but perhaps the simplest and clearest of these is that professions control the interaction between themselves and their clients, who come to them as supplicants seeking advice, aid, and decisions from those acknowledged to have a greater level of expertise.

It is helpful to remember that there were people called librarians long before there were educational programs that promised to prepare them. Initially, a "librarian" was a scholar who preferred to work with the literature rather than in the area of his or her expertise. Other "librarians" were teachers, or simply kind and caring people who wanted to help others. In many instances, and in many institutions called libraries, those definitions hold even today. Doctors and lawyers, by contrast, have moved well beyond that point.

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