Why Librarians?

— All librarians have a professional-level Master’s of Science degree (MLIS/MLS) and are Information Scientists.

— There are a million librarians in the world. A million strong information scientists can’t be discounted.

— Librarians are an integral part of digital asset management, information architecture, and retrieving strategic knowledge for those who need it.

— Librarians read and review more books than any other group on the planet. Librarians are a trusted source for book recommendations, and trained in reader’s advisory.

— Authors find librarians an indispensable resource for promoting, selling, and organizing events to promote their books.

— Librarians have been structuring information and knowledge and tagging it with metadata for decades.

— You can spend two hours searching on Google, or ask a Librarian, online or in person, and have a solid answer from a trustworthy source in 15 minutes.

— Librarians are experts at information retrieval and can recommend information personally suited to the user.

— Librarians make the connection between the people and the information they are seeking, and the information they don’t even know they are seeking.

— Librarians are trained to think about the relationship between a reader and whatever search she or he is doing, be it an unconscious search or focused one at the front of their minds, and to direct either the person to the information, or the information to the reader.

— Libraries awareness of social justice and compassion for the underprivileged increases the value of their point of view. Librarians are champions of bridging the digital divide.

— Librarians have a very close relationship to technology. We understand technology and as a result are valuable curators.

— Librarians understand users. We search outside of cached, filterable, advertiser-driven search engines, and help discover rare items.

There will always be sources of information to organize. There will always be people who need information. There will always be a need for digital librarians. There will always be a need for librarians.

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About the Author

Michelle Zaffino is an author, digital librarian, coder and founder living in San Francisco, who is often asked by investors, Why Librarians?

She is founder of In the Stacks, creators of The Librarian Brain database, which aggregates librarian book recommendations, to fuel products for book discovery. We’re bringing the librarian brains out of the library to give book lovers expert book curation & recommendations in places where they’re already looking to borrow or buy: online book sellers, book blogs, social media.

Please contact info@inthestacks.tv if you would like to view our pitch and further the discussion about Why Librarians matter.

Special Notes: The author would like to thank the following for their contributions: Julie Horst, Deb Hunt, Adele Fasick, Taryn Edwards, Mary Zambales, Eric Chuk, everyone in attendance at the SF Librarian Meetup @ MI on 7/18/16, April Eudy, Bonnie Bowes, Karoline Correa, Elspeth Olson

This blog is ongoing and may be updated at any time. Please send us your #WhyLibrarians input and we’ll add it to the list.

Photo courtesy of the author.