Definitions of librarianship

I wanted to know some definitions of librarians, libraries, and librarianship. To address this challenge I performed the following tasks. I:

  1. downloaded the whole of an electronic journal on the topic of libraries and librarians, namely, a journal called In The Library With The Lead Pipe
  2. created a lexicon denoting the idea of library, and it included the words "librarian", "librarians", "library", "libraries", and "librarianship"
  3. extracted all declarative sentences whose form was <nounphrase><verb><nounphrase>
  4. looped through each declarative sentence looking for the existence of a lexicon word in the first noun phrase
  5. if found, then looked at the value of the verb to determine if it was a form of the lemma "be" (i.e. "is", "are", "was", or "were")
  6. if found, then output the sentence

Not only were librarians and libraries defined voluminously, but there were some interesting definitions. Some were expected and some were not. Some were not really definitions, but then again, the nature of our grammar is fluid. Here are some of the more interesting definitions:

  • A common value taught in library school is the importance of the librarian as an objective and neutral professional.
  • A traditional library is a dead library.
  • Another commonality between poets and librarians is the necessity of working in solitude and in collaboration with others.
  • During their early "Innovative Years," public libraries were trusted institutions of culture and knowledge at a time when information was scarce.
  • For many, librarianship was a practical approach to a "recession proof" job.
  • I cannot support a view that Librarians and Librarianship are functionaries.
  • Librarians are wonderful people.
  • Librarianship is a job, often paid hourly.
  • Librarianship is a noble profession.
  • Prior to this time, librarianship was a learned craft, with no one unified curriculum.
  • Since librarianship is a feminized profession, we used the lens of feminist critique to analyze the results of our study when speaking of power.

Next, I think I will try to determine the nature of truth, beauty, honor, justice, and art.

Attached ought to be two files: 1) the Python script I used to address my challenge, and 2) the results .

Fun with text mining and natural language processing.

Creator: Eric Lease Morgan <>
Source: This was originally posted on the Code4Lib Slack channel (June 30, 2022).
Date created: 2022-11-14
Date updated: 2022-11-14
Subject(s): libraries and librarianship;