“Is librarianship a profession?” This was a hot question during my library school days in the early 1970s. Positive responses pointed to the diffi culties of library work, the wide-ranging skills and knowledge required. Negative responses centered around our working in structures perceived as bureaucratic, and in groups rather than as independent practitioners. We just weren’t enough like doctors! If we would regularly use calculus in our work, opined one of my professors, we could be real professionals.
Times have changed. The independent Web entrepreneur is now our society’s professional icon (though most people—including many physicians, these days—work for organizations). There’s been some democratization of the concept of “profession,” and perhaps there’s more cynicism about the traditionally recognized professions. Rather than referring to specifi c types of work, the word professional has shifted in meaning to refer to quality of work, and attitude toward work. This is all to the good in libraries, where people at many levels—librarians, library technicians, trustees—are doing a professional job for their communities.
Alki Editor: Carolynne Myall
Alki Editorial Committee: Sue Anderson; Kathleen Ardrey; Nancy Huling; Cameron Johnson; Eva-Maria Lusk; Carla McLean; Lisa Oldoski, intern; V. Louise Saylor, chair; Ginny Rabago, LINK editor
Cover by Dawn Holladay.
Download the full-color PDF issue below.
Published December 2000
by Cameron A. Johnson, Everett Public Library
by Tony Wilson, Highline Community College
by Neel Parikh, Pierce County Library System
by Mary B. Ross, Seattle Public Library
by Martha Parsons, Washington State University Energy Program Library
by Paulette Feld, Polk Library, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
by Carol Gill Schuyler, Kitsap Regional Library
by Patience Rogge, Jefferson County Rural Library District
by Karen A. Buxton, Hanford Technical Library
by Mary A. Hotchkiss, University of Washington School of Law
by Laura McCarty
by Sharon Walbridge, Holland Library, Washington State University
by Angelynn King, Armacost Library, University of Redlands
by Cindy Cunningham, Amazon.com
by Carolynne Myall, Eastern Washington University Libraries
by Tom Reynolds, Edmonds Library
by Hilary Ohm, Northport Library Station