Is There a Place for the Librarian in the Library of the 21st Century?
Agnieska Kanczak and Karina Szołtysik
The increasing role of electronic tools in the contemporary world and the immense amount of available information makes all modern libraries face new challenges. In order to survive and meet the needs of potential customers, traditional libraries should be transformed into socalled hybrid libraries focused on providing information collected not only in books but also in all available electronic sources. The electronic sources contain ebooks, digital documents and various databases. Is there a place for librarians in such libraries? If yes, what is the role of a librarian in the current situation of increasing expansion of electronic sources and common access to the Internet? The authors of this paper define the role of a librarian in the hybrid library. Since modern libraries play a vital role in creating the society of knowledge, a modern librarian is a guide who helps to search for relevant information in numerous sources of information. The librarian is constantly open to any changes in their field and eager to improve their skills and knowledge. The authors particularly emphasize the importance of personality traits of a modern librarian.
A library is a trinity made up of books, readers, and staff particularly the reference staff. We have a library only at the moments of all the three factors standing integrated. The reference staff are the power mediating between reader and book and stimulating integration.
Knowledgebased Society and Information Society
An allembracing need for gaining and exploring knowledge, which is associated with the models of the knowledgebased and learning societies, creates new challenges for twentyfirst century libraries. The information age has arrived and modern society is commonly referred to as the information society. Still, this term does not have a commonly accepted interpretation. The first definition of information society (johoka shakai) was established as early as in 1963 in Japan by Tadao Umesamo, concerning the information processing society. Afterwards, the term was popularized by the futurologist Kenichi Koyama in his Introduction to Information Theory and published in Japanese in 1968. The Japanese were aware of the fact that it was about more than popular computing technology. In 1972, Yoneji Masuda outlined a complex project for transforming all areas of social and economic life based upon the development of the information and telecommunication sectors. According to Masuda, the civilization to be built as we approach the 21st century will not be a material civilization symbolized by huge constructions, but will be virtually an invisible civilization. Precisely, it should be called an information civilization.  According to modern researchers, society is described as: the society in which the information is intensely used in economic, social, cultural and political life; it is a society with abundant means of communication and of information processing, the society being the basis for serving as a major part of the national income and ensuring the source of income for majority of the population . The information society is defined as the whole of activity serving to produce, use, protect/secure, accumulate and pass on information. The information society is constituted by all those employed in producing, using and transmitting information as well as those creating information infrastructure. 
The turn of the twentieth century gave rise to and subsequently changed mass media. The growing popularity of the Internet and other electronic mass media is still visible. This change created a new type of society, which abandoned analog technology in favour of digital technology within a couple of years. Tomasz GobanKlas called this modern society the media society, believing such a name accurate for the society satiated or even oversaturated with media . The new society is also referred to as the digital, Web, Internet or computer society . Information is the most soughtafter and valuable merchandise in this society. The speed of changes taking place in the modern world requires humans to keep up with information constantly, gaining and using it in practice, and this has become indispensable for ones social and professional development. The access to information itself does not guarantee development, since the amount of information in the world is enormous. The crucial factor is being well acquainted with and skillfully existing in the ocean of information, which means searching for adequate sources, selecting and evaluating the information as well as having the ability to transform it into knowledge. Failure to use the informationwinning tools skillfully can become the reason for the phenomenon referred to as social exclusion. Manuel Castells, an information society theoretician, formed the theory of a divided city in which apart from the global economy, satiety with information, there exist and spread groups of handicapped, the class of pariahs not only in terms of information.