There’s a lot of change going on in the modern library. I’m not even talking about the shift to digital, attacks on fair use, or a host of other issues related to content. I’m talking about personnel. Professional librarians are shrinking in numbers and have been for years. But it hasn’t been a total loss as the occasional gap is filled by non-professional librarians. So now our libraries are increasingly staffed by a hybrid of professional and non-professional workers who get equal face time with the public. What’s more, dress codes, if they exist, are becoming more and more lax over time. Don’t be mistaken, I’m all in favor of not having dress codes. But my ultimate question is this: Given the above-mentioned trends, how do libraries (I’m talking all libraries) handle differentiating staff from non-staff and professional staff from non-professional staff? Is there a need for such differentiation? Perhaps your library recently started using name tags with titles on them; have you noticed any change? Perhaps your reference desk just updated its signage or completely changed its orientation; again, any noticeable change in user relations, for good or bad? I think you get the gist. Your comments and insights are appreciated.
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