What's In a Name?
Does "library" matter?
My alma mater, Rutgers SCILS, has decided to remove "library" from its name and become SCI.
A meeting with current students, alumni, etc. is being live blogged at SCILS or SCI.
Personally? I'm both embarrassed and appalled. To me, this is a loud "libraries and librarians don't matter" -- tho, Rutgers will still accept tuition from those who want an MLIS degree. Our money is good; who we are and what we do? Not so much.
About eighteen months ago, Amy at Library Garden said we should "pimp ourselves" -- be loud and proud about our MLS/MLISs.
The library news is full of bad news: libraries closing, hours cut, staff reduced, budgets cut.
And what does SCILS do? The opposite of being proud; instead, they back away from the l-word.
I wonder, if our professional schools don't want to promote libraries, does it matter? Should we just toss the towel in, say it doesn't matter whether or not we are librarians? It doesn't matter if we work in libraries? Heck, if it doesn't matter, why do we need an MLS or MLIS? Maybe we should all go back to school for this type of degree, if libraries don't matter.
Edited to add: The Annoyed Librarian addresses the name change. Her point? Or at least, what I think her point is? That the professors at universities teaching library science aren't librarians: "The permanent faculty at library schools aren't librarians. What they research and teach has only the most tenuous connection if any to libraries or librarianship." So the name doesn't matter, because what goes on at "library school" has nothing to do with libraries; and Rutgers has a captive student audience who won't go elsewhere, no matter what the name is.