Is the “Audience development officer” here?

In Information industry on February 3, 2009 by Danielle Tagged: , , ,

According to a piece in the Telegraph, Edinburgh council will rename its librarians ‘Audience development officers’ in an apparent bid to confuse people rebrand librarians.

Yes, I did a search and, no, this is not an elaborate hoax.

Did anyone bother to ask the question “Why does a category of professional need rebranding?”

A key issue in the overhaul of Edinburgh’s library service is the introduction of self-service checkout units thatmay see 40 jobs cut.  95% of staff are opposed to the changes proposed.

While I think that the automation of routine tasks is reasonable, it will be a barrier to older people and those with movement or vision impairments.  Often the staff at the checkout counter are the first port of call for questions.

In a few years time a “£15 million revamp and extension of the Central Library” is planned, according to the Scotsman.


One Response to “Is the “Audience development officer” here?”

  1. This is very confusing. Audience development officer, as I understand it, is actually a (albeit slightly ugly) name for people who work for, let’s say, Museums or cinemas or things, and need to develop strategies to get the punters in. You know, what sort of films to show, snacks to sell, that sort of thing. All very strategic and about, well, developing an audience. While it may be useful for a librarian service to think in terms of audience development, it does not mean that all people who work in libraries are suddenly audience development officers. Maybe Edinburgh could have one ADO – not just re-brand everyone. Could the Telegraph have simply got confused. It does seem VERY silly, but then of course councils are all about providing employment for the stupidest of people, who would be unable to hold down a job elsewhere…

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