Hear, hear!

“A survey of the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan libraries showed that half the patrons of the public library had come to it simply for a good book to read. Yet patrons who come to the library are seldom accosted by a librarian who has thought enough of books to read very many of them, or if [s]he has read extensively, cares enough to recommend books to others searching for good reading. The library profession hopes to improve its image and seems to feel this can be done by proof of efficiency. Those students who enter the library profession because they love books and wish to work with people soon discover they are being trained for technical services, and become bored and disillusioned. If we continue to confine ourselves to administering collections, to making information and materials available, to answering questions but remaining unconcerned for the individual, then we should be honest enough to admit we are technicians, cease insisting on professional status, disown the bastard YA, and catch up with our work! I say that when the time comes that library schools train readers’ advisors as well as technicians; when administrators make the promotion of reading as important as the informational services; when staff members render creative professional service to individuals; then we shall not have to worry about our image.”

—Margaret A. Edwards
The Fair Garden and the Swarm of Beasts, 1969

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