Library and Information Science Miscellaneous

This weblog in the field of Library and Information Science contains news, comments and everything that its bloggers think could be useful for LIS professionals and students. It is maintianed by a number of students mainly Research students and Iranian. Our email is lismisblog at Yahoo dot com.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

The Social image of the information professionals

One of the member of IFLA knowledge management mailing list is working on "the social image of the information professionals" in different countries. Today, I got an email from a USA librarian reflecting this issue there. I felt that there are similarities between Iran and Amercia about this topic. Have a look at that email:
What are your thoughts on the way that the information professional isperceived in your country?. Can be it considered a positive perception?
In the US I believe that perceptions of information professionals are beginning to be viewed with more professional status than they were even 10 years ago. I also think that terminology makes a difference...thereseems to be a difference whether you say informational professional orlibrarian. An IP may conjure up a more technical based individual, where librarian still brings to mind the stereotypical librarian image.
- Does it exist some of the clich├ęs about librarians, exposedpreviously, in your country?
Yes, I think so. When people say they are a librarian they immediately think of someone with their hair in a bun...with glasses...with sensible shoes. Sometimes comments will be jokingly made that "youdon't look like a librarian," or will make a joke about the stereotype.But, it does seem to be getting better. I think many people think oflibrarians in terms of a clerk position.
- Do you think that your profession is not sufficiently valued, from administration, companies, cultural organizations, or I+D institutions?
I think for the range of positions we hold that we could probably be valued better, as a whole, although individually I think for the people who use our services, they understand our worth. Institutionally, there is most likely room for improvement. I know that in many of the larger businesses that have typically hired librarians and IP, it is usually one of the first jobs to be cut if they are downsizing. On the otherhand, there are many information-based companies who seek outindividuals with a MLS or MLIS degree because it is very valued.The view of the profession has greatly improved, but still has a long way to go to be regarded in the same esteem as other professionaldegrees and careers, such as engineers, doctors, lawyers, etc.

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