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.

Comments: 0

Jan 29, 2005
John Kirriemuir

Bangor appears to be heading in this direction.

...but perhaps the librarians can take a more drastic approach?

Then again, the "big wigs" making the decisions at Bangor should watch out - for why just stop at librarians...?