n.An individual responsible for acquiring, providing access to, and managing collections of published materials.


While the title connotes work with published materials, many rare books and special collections librarians also work with unpublished materials that range from handwritten inscriptions in books to collections of personal papers.


Greene et al. 2001 Anyone who works as a keeper of stuff in a corporate environment cannot afford to worry too much about the fine distinctions between Record Manager, Librarian, Archivist and Document Control Manager. The key is to keep what the corporation needs. Need is difficult to define, but people in corporations know when you have something, or have organized something, in a way they find useful for the task at hand. If you keep stuff no one needs, it is quite likely your collection will be trashed, given away or simply die from lack of use. Harvey 2000, p. 113 If it were up to me, I would abolish the word entirely and turn back to the lexicological wisdom of the ancients, who saw librarians not as feeble sorters and shelvers but as heroic guardians. In Assyrian, Babylonian, and Egyptian cultures alike, those who toiled at the shelves were often bestowed with a proud, even soldierly, title: Keeper of the Books. Maher 1998, p. 262–263 Librarianship is an information profession wherein data are valued as independent entities, separate from the context that created them. By contrast, archivists must focus on unique documents created often as the accident rather than the object of an action. We are not information professionals like librarians – we are evidence professionals.