New Breed of Squatters in LIS

In the local context, the term “squatter” is well known and is used to describe people who settle or occupy property, buildings or unoccupied space illegally. In the field of ICT’s “Cybersquatting” is used frequently. This  term has been coined to designate ‘domain squatting’. Cybersquatters register and/or use domain names with bad faith to eventually sell them to companies willing to ‘buy’ the domain name(s) at much higher prices. Taking a broad view, one may say that to squat something is to appropriate things that do not by right belong to you. Can we apply the term ‘squatting‘ in the local library and information sector? Recent events indicate that there exists some form of squatting in LIS. A new breed of squatters has born and it seems that they are determined to occupy positions for a life time. In the past, we have seen people considering top library positions as sinecures or semi-sinecures. We thought such beliefs and practices have disappeared but we were wrong. Staying in your post beyond compulsory retiring age may be considered as a form of squatting. Such unethical practices are detrimental to the profession and impact negatively on it in the long run. How can such practices affect the profession? In my view, there are two negative messages which are sent to society and the public in general. The first one is that there is a shortage of skills and competencies in the sector; there exist no new blood in the profession and that the younger generation is not capable of taking up the challenges of our new and highly technological world of LIS. The second message is that the same people are creating /forging a bad name / image for the profession in the minds of people who may preceive top positions in LIS as sinecures.  If squatting LIS top positions is true, the question that lurks is: how do we market the library and information profession to earn the respect it deserves? Is it possible to do it in the company of those same people who are digging the grave of the profession? Those who are part of the problem (or the problem itself), can they be part of the solution? ….. Points to ponder.

P. Hauroo


One Response to “New Breed of Squatters in LIS”

  1. Yannisk Says:

    Hello everyone,
    Since some time I have been reading the articles posted on this blog which are very interesting. Being a new comer in the LIS field I found this article very important as it reflects actually how the society view the profession of Librarian. I think that it is time for us to bring new blood to this profession. I am not trying to say that older generation are not good anymore all I want to say is to give us our chance to prove to the society that this profession is not a dormant one and can evolve with new comers and be able to take up challenges for the technological world of LIS.
    I invite anyone to comment and express your opinion, whether you agree or not.

    Thank you.

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