Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/01/13/audience_development_officers/

Librarians redubbed 'audience development officers'

'It is just political correctness gone daft'

By Lester Haines

Posted in Bootnotes, 13th January 2009 11:35 GMT

Edinburgh librarians are apparently "seething" after the powers that be decided they should henceforth be known as “audience development officers” as part of a plan to drag libraries kicking and screaming “into the 21st century”.

That's how the Caldeonian edition of the Sun describes the move by "barmy" council bosses, which prompted one irate "book-stamper" to offer the obligatory: “It is just political correctness gone daft. No one can see the point of this. The public will still call a librarian a librarian. It is idiotic.”

The change of job title was prompted by the decision to deploy "self-service borrowing systems similar to those found at supermarket checkouts". Up to 40 librarians could be for the off, and those who do hold onto their jobs will be expected to "run computer courses, hold talks and encourage kids to read".

Accordingly, the council reckons the reinvented librarian is best described by the shiny new term which better reflects "the extra responsibilities and more hands-on role of modern-day librarians".

Sadly for the council, a union poll saw 95 per cent of workers reject the proposed changes. The opposing sides will meet for "crunch talks" today amid the threat of industrial action.

A council spokesman assured: “There will always be an appropriate level of staffing in libraries. Any staff freed up by self-service will be used across an expanded, more customer-focused library service for Edinburgh.”

In case you're wondering, Edinburgh is controlled by a Liberal Democrat/Scottish National Party alliance. ®