Librarian has been the title for a person who works in a library ever since the first libraries in the Middle East 2,700 years ago. However council chiefs in Edinburgh want to rename librarians with the clumsy title of “Audience Development Officers.” They also intend to launch self-service borrowing systems which would allow book-borrowers to scan their own items in and out.
The job description of the librarian would shift slightly as a result, becoming more of an educational role. Audience Development Officers would be responsible for running computer courses, holding talks, leading reading groups for youth, and other such community programs. Ninety-Five percent of library staff were opposed to the changes to their terms and conditions. Public sector union ‘Unison’ claimed members would consider industrial action over the planned changes due to the jobs that will be lost as a result of the self-checkout systems.