Dolorous Gorman

Students graduate from the successors to library schools without a basic education in the core skills that define an effective librarian - reference work, cataloguing, library instruction, collection development, etc. - and without a grounding in the basic values of our profession - service, intellectual freedom, stewardship, literacy, etc. This is a crisis that is teetering on the edge of catastrophe and it comes at a particularly bad time. Demography is our enemy. Librarians with command of basic skills and imbued with our values and a social conscience are retiring in unprecedented numbers. Who is to replace them? How will those people be educated in out core skills and values when many successors to library schools are indifferent to, or even contemptuous of, those skills and values? Even more importantly, how can we recruit potential librarians who reflect the demographics of today�s multicultural diverse America? I cannot pretend to have all the answers to these questions but they must be addressed and the structure of education for librarianship must be changed if our profession is to survive and thrive. [Michael Gorman, SRRT Newsletter, December 2003]

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