Many people may hold the image of a librarian as a shushing school marm who does little more than stamp and shelve books because that's all they've seen librarians do. Well think again - that's about as inaccurate as believing that Alan Greenspan is nothing more than a glorified bank teller. The job titles may change but the mission of the profession remains the same: organize information and help people find it. Libraries have been around a lot longer than the Internet, and even library technology can hold its own with the best out there. For example, Google's savvy results ranking was hardly the birth of citation analysis (next up: metadata - cough, cataloging, cough), and there are enormous library systems that also predate the Internet.
Although library geeks and technology nerds may have contrary images, in today's world the boundary between the career of the librarian and the information technologist is disappearing. Librarians today not only administer Web servers and dynamic databases to help manage large digital collections and thousands of electronic resources, they teach people how to use library systems. And just as enlightened computer engineers are advocates of noncommercial software and campaign for online rights, the library profession has a long history of staunchly defending freedom - from book burnings to the FBI's Library Awareness Program to the latest copyright battles and almost all other current issues in intellectual freedom.