Questions for Discussion
Information Technology and the De-Skilling of Librarians; or the erosion
of a woman's profession
by Roma Harris
1. If we were to create an argument in the defense of automation how would it support
female librarians? Or, has Harris successfully created the argument that this women's profession is being eroded by automation?
2. Harris states that librarians are being pressured to "...rid themselves of their occupational labels..." and that automation is going to cause a decline in professional status. In 1987 Richard Rowe predicted that librarians will not be candidates for high positions, such as "chief information officer". Was Rowe's prediction and Harris' statement correct? Should we redefine our profession and if so, where do we begin (library school, public campaigns, rallies, etc). If not, what do librarians offer communities that information advocates do not?
3. Do you think the librarian stereotype as it is discussed in the Radfords' article, Librarians and Party Girls, supports Harris' views that librarians are not often thought of as qualified leaders in places like university computing centers or information resources? Or, does Harris' article even provide enough evidence of these accusations?