The Essential Quality of the Librarian

It really seems that, since Antiquity, the only quality demanded of a librarian was to have beautiful handwriting. Across civilizations and cultures, numerous examples demonstrate it. Beautiful writing could be truly artistic calligraphy, such as is found in the Arab world. On the other hand, it can be very standardized writing, modeled, paradoxically on printing, such as the « library hand » of the United States which was used after the introduction of the writing machine. Computerization has definitively relegated this fundamental quality to a bygone age.