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Evolution of the Noble Librarian (Infographic)

Infographic created by MasterDegreeOnline¹

The library has always been a storehouse of knowledge. The first stacks contained papyrus scrolls, which evolved to handwritten books, then printed books; today the volumes found in libraries are stored as printed material, electronic data, and multimedia presentations. Librarians have made a similar transition, from shelf managers to catalogue clerks to the professionals that today oversee the management of and access tools for many forms of media. There has been a single, consistent element for every librarian in every manifestation of the library. Knowledge is only passed on when it can be retrieved; librarians have always held the key.¹

A librarian is a person who is in charge of or works professionally in a library and is responsible for its management and services. The librarian takes care of the library and its resources. The typical job of a librarian includes managing collection development and acquisitions, cataloging, collections management, circulation, and providing a range of services, such as reference, information, instruction, and training services, etc.

Librarians are trained in library and information science and are engaged in providing library services, usually holding a degree in library science. In the United States, the title Librarian is reserved for persons who have been awarded the ALA-accredited Master of Library and Information Science or MLIS degree or certified as professionals by a state agency.

In a small library, such as a school library a single librarian may be responsible for managing the overall functions of the library but big libraries, such as a large academic library may have much staff to carry out different functions of the library depending on their qualifications, expertise, and functional specializations, e.g. acquisition librarian, archivists, cataloging librarian, electronic resources librarian, metadata librarian, reference librarian, serials librarian, systems librarian, etc. Based on the type of the library served, librarians may be classified as a school librarian, academic librarian, special librarian, etc.

The increasing role of technology in libraries has a significant impact on the changing roles of librarians. A 21st-century librarian is required to be very much updated of technological changes. New age librarians are making greater use of emerging technologies in the library management and services to make it more popular and useful among the patrons. New age librarians are not mere bookworms, they are high-tech information professionals, and clever communicators, helping patrons dive in the oceans of information available in books and digital records.


  1. MasterDegreeOnline, "Infographic: Evolution of the Noble Librarian," (accessed June 3, 2021).