This is a great discussion and hopefully one that may incite some direct action on the part of library science and library technician educators. I followed my Library Tech. diploma with the MLIS and can say with much certainty that there is often miscommunication between the two groups regarding our respective roles, training and knowledge-bases. The library tech. program is quite comprehensive and rigorous, and while the MLIS program does attend to broader issues with respect to trends, research and ethics, there is a lot of overlap in the two programs. There are definitely many library techs out there doing the work of librarians without the status or the pay, school library techs top among them. It seems to me that if more workshops and social events were planned collectively between the university and community college student groups, allowing the students to meet in a relaxed environment, many misconceptions would or could be avoided down the road.
It is really nice to see APLA used as a forum for debate!
----- Original Message -----
From: Stephen Murray <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 12:58:49 -0300
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Professionalism
> Thank you Anne. I'm sure every Library Technician on the list thanks you.
> I think many people like Ryan Deschamps forget (or never knew in the
> first place) that library technicians go through an exhaustive 2 year
> program as well as the "professionals".
> Ryan Deschamps wrote:
> > Further, a library tech could inadvertently be doing something against ALA standards and not be reprimanded because an employer is not likely to understand the standards themselves.
> I think it is safe to assume a "professional" is just as likely to make
> a mistake as is a "non-professional".
> I find this discussion very disturbing. We (Library Techs) have all
> worked for "professionals" (like Ryan) who belittle and demean our value
> to the library community. I hope this attitude changes during the course
> of your final year in study or you will end up like the other
> "professionals (with the same attitude)" who spend most of their time
> interviewing people because they won't stay in their employ.
> Stephen Murray, a non-professional
> Anne Chesnutt wrote:
> > During library school and since, I have been concerned about this ongoing
> > debate on professional v. non-professional library workers. I agree that
> > the MLIS is a professional degree, however our profession does not have a
> > formalized disciplinary process. This is where the comparison to the
> > legal
> > and medical professions fall apart. "Professional librarians" are not
> > subjected to disciplinary actions when they do not adhere to the code of
> > ethics, and I doubt that many employers are aware of our professional
> > standards.
> > The point is well made that library technicians are often discredited or
> > overlooked and I think that this is detrimental to us all. I have
> > noticed
> > during my own 14-year library career that the associations far too often
> > fail to take into account the perspective and interests of techs.
> > Look at
> > the wording of many notices for ongoing education sessions or library
> > social
> > activities; at email messages about issues common to techs and to
> > librarians. If you pay attention, the bias becomes quite obvious. I am
> > often guilty of this myself, although I try to keep the broad spectrum of
> > the library world in mind.
> > Anne Chesnutt
> > Judges' Librarian
> > 1815 Upper Water St.
> > Halifax, NS B3J 1S7
> > (902)424-2078
> > (902)424-0646 fax
> > [log in to unmask]
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> Stephen C. Murray, [log in to unmask]
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