Publications and Research

Document Type

Book Chapter or Section

Publication Date



Librarians are depicted as know-it-alls by some, and as know-nothings by others. Similarly, they are seen as both utterly powerless and preternaturally powerful. This essay offers examples of these contradictory images, examines their implications, and proposes a more realistic view of librarians and their relation to knowledge and power.


This work was originally published in The Reference Librarian and simultaneously in "The Image and Role of the Librarian," edited by Arant, Wendi and Candace R. Benefiel



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.