Perpetual Complaints

This quote complaining about library administrations and services might sound familiar:

The chief librarian who cares about college students and appropriate library and information services for them will endeavor to establish an organization that can identify and be responsive to user and nonuser needs and requirements and then proceed to staff the library with knowledgeable, service-conscious librarians. While imaginative and inventive leadership may be lacking at the top of the organizational structure in academic libraries, there is immensely rewarding growth among younger and beginning level librarians, especially in adopting new work roles in servicing student and faculty information needs. On a recent visit to a community college library I was impressed by the library and information services offered. The entire staff seemed to enjoy working with students and faculty. The library functioned not only as an educational media center, but also as a social and artistic focal point for the campus.

–Haro, Robert P. “The Floating Academic Librarian.” American Libraries 2, no. 11 (December 1, 1971): 1170.

The “younger and beginning level librarians” Haro was so enthusiastic about are starting to retire, and they seem to be the object of the same complaints.

On a different note, his “analogy between the war in Indochina and our program or policies of attending to student and faculty library and information needs” was not as informative as he had hoped. However, the notion of a floating academic librarian with a portable media base operating outside of library buildings just needed the advent of laptop computers and the Internet to be an easily viable reality. Complaining about the old guard is perpetual, but the floating librarian concept was rather creative.

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