In a journal article some years ago, I compared the planning profession to the profession of librarianship, both seeking a body of respectable theory with which to support a fundamentally practical activity. I think that that parallel is still true, although in many ways we are all now looking for a respectable and viable practical activity. Planners, like librarians, are still in search of an identity; even, in many cases, in search of a recognisable professional job. There are rumours that the new technology, the micro, the chip and so on will render librarians unnecessary: a recent paper by Dr Dennis Lewis of ICI Plastics Division asserts that ‘ … the days of the information officer and library worker as we know them are numbered’. ‘ … in the year 2,000’, he says, ‘the information scientist and the librarian will have gone the way of the brontosaurus’. Clearly, librarians need to re‐examine their role in the developing world of information technology and to adapt and change to meet changing circumstances and needs. It is perhaps not quite so obvious, but it is equally necessary, that they should change and adapt to meet changing patterns and sources of information and to accommodate new developments in the structure of the information they are accustomed to handling.
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