14 Pages

Educating for Automation: Can the Library Schools Do the Job?

The proliferation of computers in today’s society has caused an increased demand for individuals capable of effectively dealing with both computers and people, and the library environment is no exception. The skills of these intermediaries, dictated by the diverse milieus they must traverse, will have to be broad and somewhat deep. There are several possible ways of producing the technically trained individuals who are required. Perhaps the best method is to recruit individuals with a sound background in computer opera­ tions, and provide them with the professional education required for them to become librarians. This solution, however, does not seem likely on a large scale. It is unreasonable to expect such persons to spend an additional year in graduate school for library education when an automation position in a library will probably pay them twenty percent less than they could hope to make using only their technically oriented undergraduate degrees.1