Taking an historical overview of librarianship in the UK, a consistent and noticeable feature is the slow yet steady evolution of “library worker” into a nearly full‐blown and mature “professional”. The transition from “scholar librarian” in the late Middle Ages (and “monk librarian” before that) through to the Victorian age's earnest, rigorous “curators and improvers of minds” and on to the liberal, democratic expansionist “bookmen” of the early and middle twentieth century has been steady and cumulative. Whether the apotheosis is complete with the arrival, in the late twentieth century, of “information man” (or should it be “information person”?) and the hi‐tech library remains to be seen.
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