Monday, February 13, 2017

The Devalued MLIS: ALA’s Leader Must Be a Librarian; Library Journal, February 9, 2017

John N. Berry III, Library Journal;

The Devalued MLIS: ALA’s Leader Must Be a Librarian 

"Dozens of library educators have declared to me that we “educate a lot more than librarians!” I am sure there are many positions for which LIS programs offer appropriate preparation. But I am a librarian. I remember my struggle to convince my relatives, friends, and others that librarians are members of a learned, authorized profession. The effort to achieve this status began with Melvil Dewey himself.

Now a growing chorus of “experts” from outside the field tell us that libraries and the professionals who administer them are obsolete. In truth, the profusion of information sources coupled with the erosion of the quality of the information they provide has added urgency to the fundamental work of the librarian. We collect and disseminate the facts of humankind after careful evaluation of sources as to their currency, accuracy, depth, breadth, biases, and prejudices. No other profession has that mission.

The MLIS credential is one signal that the holder has at least studied and considered these issues and understands the need for an institution and a professional cadre to serve and protect the rights of all people to accurate information. ALA’s leaders, and indeed all librarians, must be holders of that important degree. We must not abandon it now."

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