Deskilling searching?

A discussion has broken out in the UK about proposals from the University of Bangor to reduce the number of librarians in light of the changed environment of search. This is a passage from the message from a library staff member which sparked the debate:

The University of Wales Bangor in the UK no longer feel that subject librarians / academic liaison librarians are needed in the modern academic library. They have made restructuring proposals which include removing all bar one of the subject librarians and a tier of the library management, including the Head of Bibliographic Services. The university management thinks that technology has ‘deskilled’ literature searching. As far as I know, this proposal is unprecedented in the United Kingdom.
In essence, there will remain 4 professional librarians serving a ‘research-led’ university of 8,000 plus FTEs and with 8 library sites. These will be the university librarian, cataloguing librarian, acquisitions librarian and Law librarian. [LIS-CILIP Archives — January 2005 (#67)]

There is a consultation period lasting until 28 February.

2 thoughts on “Deskilling searching?”

  1. No, but… There is a quote in the movie version of i, robot that mentions the old fashioned folks who mourned and decried the death of libraries due to the net. Was the quote from this scene passed around the…

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