I can’t help but notice the irony of writing about the keepers of printed books, librarians, within a digital format. I wonder how long before we view librarians much like blacksmiths or even a buggy whip manufacturers? Out of place in a world that has evolved passed them. While I doubt the job of librarian will ever truly go away, it certainly will change and be a more limited field of opportunity in the future, but I digress…
This infographic, and I use that term loosely as this is barely information in graphic form, displays 10 stages in the “evolution” of the librarian. It starts out with Ben Franklin, founder of the Library Company of Philadelphia, the United States’ first lending library. It states that Ben Franklin was a librarian there as well. The following stages of development continue, mentioning other important figures in the librarian history such as Thomas Jefferson, who helped found the Library of Congress; Melvil Dewey who introduced the Dewey Decimal system; Andrew Carnegie who funded the first public library; and the Katherine Sharp named the Chief Librarian of the Illinois State Library at the University of Illinois.
It finally ends with the year 2010, mentioning that most librarian positions require a Masters’ in LIS – too bad the infographic doesn’t explain what LIS stands for. This is the weakest piece of information and the least interesting, and it feels like it was a struggle to come up with 10 interesting facts and this last one was just filler. The other information at least has historic value and interest.
The graphics are a mix bag of media, photography, illustrations and computer graphics. The styles are different and the infographic has a piecemeal feel to it. The artist tries to tie everything together with a parchment design and sepia-toned color scheme. This kind of holds it together, but as a creative infographic this design falls short and looks as if it was created to house some quickly found facts in a even more quickly designed graphic and then put out for mass consumption. I think our librarians would have expected better.
Really there is no cohesive design and it is a collage of images and graphics that don’t really belong together.
The facts provided are of mild interest and provide some history to the respected field of the librarian, but not all the facts are equally interesting.
- Melvil Dewey the Man (lis65302studentblog.wordpress.com)
- Academic Librarian or Digital Librarian? (ask.metafilter.com)