Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Word of the Day

I subscribe to Merriam-Webster's Online 'Word of the Day'. Sometimes it's interesting, sometimes it's obscure, sometimes it's relevant to a class of library school students:

cybrarian \sye-BRAIR-ee-un\ noun

: a person whose job is to find, collect, and manage information that is available on the World Wide Web

Example sentence:
The library provided an e-mail address to submit inquiries to the cybrarian.

Did you know?
We've been using "librarian" for the people who manage libraries since at least the beginning of the 18th century, and the word was used for scribes and copyists even earlier than that. "Cybrarian," on the other hand, is much newer; its earliest documented use is from 1992. "Librarian" combines "library" (itself from "liber," the Latin word for book) and the noun suffix "-an," meaning "one specializing in." When people wanted a word for a person who performed duties similar to those of a librarian by using information from the Internet, they went a step further and combined "cyber-," meaning "of, relating to, or involving computers or a computer network," with "librarian" to produce the new "cybrarian."


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