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July 9, 2011
US Librarians, 1880-2009: Historical Census Data Post from OUP Blog
Brian Herzog calls attention to a recent OUP blog post that provides occupational census data about US librarians from 1880-2009 on Swiss Army Librarian. He writes "Even if you just skim the graphs, I think you’ll be hooked." I was.
Here's the opening paragraph of the OUP survey:
The U.S. Census first collected data on librarians in 1880, a year after the founding of the American Library Association. They only counted 636 librarians nationwide. Indeed, one respondent reported on his census form that he was the “Librarian of Congress.” The U.S. Census, which became organized as a permanent Bureau in 1902, can be used to track the growth of the library profession. The number of librarians grew over the next hundred years, peaking at 307,273 in 1990. Then, the profession began to shrink, and as of 2009, it had dropped by nearly a third to 212,742. The data enable us to measure the growth, the gender split in this profession known to be mostly female, and to explore other divides in income and education, as they changed over time.
Hat tip to LISNews. [JH]
That is amazing and interesting to know that many librarians were around in 1880's. And, you have to wonder if the 636 that were counted was actually correct because I bet there were even more that weren't accounted for. on the wheelchair note, Scott, I happen to be bound to a wheelchair and must drive a Wheelchair Van but the library is one of my favorite places to spend my time.
Posted by: Terry | Apr 9, 2012 11:21:25 AM
Geez, I didn't realize librarians have been around that long! I wonder why the amount of librarians rescinded? Was it due to the advent of the internet? I am under the presumption that people are more apt to find information (erroneous or otherwise) via online versus the traditional means, such as visiting their local library. Then again libraries often contain PC's where you can go online. Or is it the plain fact that people don't read as much as they use to? If that's the case, it's a shame. My mother was a voracious reader whose intellect rivaled Einsteins. She always read to her nine children. Most of us continue to read and pass on the love to our offspring. Although I am wheelchair bound and need a wheelchair lift to traverse anywhere (car accident many years ago), I still manage to visit the library and continue to instill the love of reading to my children.
Posted by: Scott James | Sep 23, 2011 5:20:35 PM