Many library and information workers — the majority, even — use technology in some way or other. Only a relatively small number, however, have come to regard IT management or library systems administration as a full‐time specialism. The terms used to designate these posts are many and varied, but perhaps the job title which has gained the widest usage is ‘systems librarian’. Chan (1987) defines systems librarians as ‘the people responsible for managing computerised library systems.’ However, it is possible to differentiate between staff for whom this is the principal responsibility and those who carry out the function of systems management as one task among many, and whose main duties are elsewhere. In practice there is often no clear dividing line, but for the purposes of this article the former category only will be considered to be systems librarians. The latter group, in so far as they are discussed at all, will be referred to as ‘system administrators’ or ‘system managers’.
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