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RE: What's in a name?
- To: <email@example.com>
- Subject: RE: What's in a name?
- From: "Paul Burry" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 19:32:13 EST
- Reply-To: email@example.com
- Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
I think that very often the name changes are part of marketing strategies aimed at overcoming those tired stereotypes, that, for whatever reasons, continue to be associated with the profession. And as we all know, marketing has become an increasingly important part of library survival. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"-well that depends on who you ask. According to some, it is apparently fairly broken. If name changes help administrations and patrons better comprehend the totality of services that librarians and libraries have always excelled at providing, then I don't see the harm. If they help promote the expertise of librarians and keep them and their libraries off the chopping block, I say call them whatever you want! My experience generally has been that quite often there is a significant amount of (justifiable) patron frustration with much of traditional library jargon (although perhaps not with the terms "library" or "librarian"). I think that this justifies an overall inquiry into how we can better communicate to our users, including updating vague jargon if warranted (i.e., patrons who search a WebPac and find that a book is "charged" may not necessarily realize that this means checked out). Our institution chose different titles for library staff in part to assist in counteracting the perceived image (not mine) of dusty librarians hidden away in some dark basement office cataloguing books for 30 years and then collecting a pension. Obviously, the name changes are only part of what we do to demonstrate the reality of our value to the organization, but nevertheless an important piece of our commitment to finding new ways to market the importance of our contributions. Clearly this effort does not require that names and titles be changed, but if it helps, where's the harm? I certainly don't believe that the mere suggestion qualifies me as an "idiot" or "ding-dong". Paul Burry Information Services Support Specialist Information Resources & Digital Library Technical University of British Columbia email@example.com 604.586.6019 -----Original Message----- From: Tom Williams [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2002 5:42 PM To: email@example.com Subject: Re: What's in a name? Well, the terms "library" and "librarian" have worked for a very, very long time. Information centers and Information professionals just doesn't cut it in my view nor do any of the alternate names I've heard. If it ain't broke, don't fix it! I just came back from a seminar where an anecdote was passed on by one of the speakers. It seems a major library director had a VP to whom he reported who came from the misinformed and intellectually challenged segment of the human race. This person would repeat the lament heard by many of us from other idiots. "Why put up buildings and shelves and such when we all know that libraries will be disappearing, replaced by electronic information kiosks." This ding-dong was pushing to change the name of the library to information center or similar. At a subsequent meeting of university adminstration some big wig from LC or some such place was attending. This VP asked her if it wasn't time to change library to information center (or whatever). The big wig replied that Library and Librarian works just fine, are descriptive and understood world-wide. The library director heard no more dumb remarks from that VP, at least not in reference to name changes for the library. I don't care if they change my title to King of the Library. I am and will always be a librarian and, God willing, a retired librarian. Tom Williams University of South Alabama.