Librarians and Computer Programming: Understanding the role of programming within the profession of librarianship
Computer programming is increasingly being discussed as a practice within librarianship. However, contemporary discussions about the role of code within librarianship often suggest that librarians should or should not learn code while failing to qualify how and why librarians are employing code in a professional capacity rather than IT professionals. By investigating case studies that describe librarians writing code, this paper qualifies popular discussions of code and librarianship with how and why programming is being used in practice by librarians. While these case studies reveal that programming solutions were developed in the context of lack of IT staff, librarians are not taking over roles or projects traditionally afforded to software and web developers, instead librarians are writing code for data processing and web services as extensions of their normal responsibilities. Further discussion explores software engineering as the primary concern of librarians who code professionally.
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