The professional profile of the public librarian : a self-portrait

The professional profile of the public librarian has evolved in response to the changes that constantly affect public libraries. In this article we analyze what the public librarian's job involves from the point of view of the professionals themselves. This allows us to examine the competences that are most highly valued and identify those areas in which professionals require more specific training. Our results indicate that there is a need for librarians with more specialized profiles, but that this need could also be satisfied by incorporating professionals whose profiles were complementary or overlapping. Finally, although the professional profile of the librarian is adapting to the needs of the modern public library, we can detect certain weaknesses, which the professionals themselves also perceive.