Question

Non-Librarians as Managers - what do you think?

The role of non-librarians doing paraprofessional jobs, like check-in, check-out, copy cataloging, shelving, and others has allowed libraries to ask librarians on concentrate more on authority control, advanced reference services, original cataloging, library automation, collection development,and other functions. However, to place non-degreed librarians as managers (whatever their title may be--director or dean of library, or university librarian), may lead to no progress or reverse progress of the library because they have no experience and they have a wrong perception about the library, such as anybody can run the library and you do not need a library degree to head the library.

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  • Janie Johnson · University of the Witwatersrand
    I also question if library staff without library qualifications can join our professional organisations and associations. It should be a pre-requisite for membership, same as any other profession. If not, it leaves such library staff at a disadvantage in competing with professionally qualified librarians.
  • Matt Holland · National Health Service
    My guess is that non-library, library managers would tend towards the reductive. By that I mean trying to make the mechanisms that support the library work better for now, rather than try and imagine how the whole library can work better for the future. Only someone imbued with the ethos, values and training of a professional Librarian can do that.
  • Matt Holland · National Health Service
    Hi Arjun, absolutely agree that a diversity of skills is needed to make a library work. Many Librarians, like myself, work in teams with other professionals and draw on the skills of others. But the deus ex machina has to be a Librarian in my view.
  • G. Rathinasabapathy · Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University
    Few non-librarians have contributed a lot to the LIS and some non-Librarians proved that they are very successful library managers. These are exceptions and exceptions should not be treated as rule. Basic knowledge, that too, obtained through formal education, is necessary to hold any post. The bottomline is that professional qualification in library science is highly necessary to manage a library.

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