I think I should at the outset explain something of the origin of this paper, and how it came to be written. As some of you may be aware, an article appeared in the issue of The Engineer for 13th February, 1953, on ‘Library service for industry’. In many respects it was a very useful and informative article, but at one point it claimed that ‘the activities of an information department usually revolve round the library’, the inference being, of course, that in information work the librarian is the ‘king pin’. As I disagreed strongly with that view, I wrote a letter to the editor pointing out what I regarded as an error in the article. Somewhat to my surprise a long correspondence ensued, and showed two rather striking features. The first was that the point I had raised was sidetracked, and there developed an almost bitter argument as to whether or not there is any difference between a librarian and an information officer. The second feature was that nearly all of the correspondents were engaged in technical information work, and almost without exception they assumed that no other kind of information work exists.
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