What is the modern definition of a Sound Librarian? Do studios / houses still hire Sound Librarians, or have the responsibilities simply fallen to the sound effects editing team as a whole?
In my mind, the original Sound Librarian was the keeper of vast vaults full of endless rows of reels containing precious recordings that had to be cataloged and pulled at the demand of Sound Editors. Not much of an editor, per se. But very knowledgeable of the recordings in their collection and the tech necessary to duplicate them for use by the Sound Editors. I'd imagine nowadays, both the libraries and the Librarian exist at only the largest of facilities (studios mostly). Further, I would hazard a guess that those rows of reels have been (or are still being) digitized for the fastest and easiest availability.
This portion of this article was the spark that lit the question off in my mind:
“There’s often eight to 10 [recorders] going from different positions,” adds Cohen. “You’ve got one that’s kind of on the side of the gun so you try and record the mechanism. There are a couple that are further away to get the boom. And some that are downfield. And some that are close to the muzzle but in back of it so the pressure wave doesn’t hit the capsule. Then we’ll take all these recordings back, and the librarian will line them up so all the recordings are in sync to each other. And that gives you a wonderful tool kit to create an interesting shot.”
- Excerpt from mixonline.com article
From reading the blog postings by many of you, it sounds as though you act as your own librarian. Which makes perfect sense to me. You were there, you're familiar with the material. They're probably your notes. But on these large-scale productions, it seems the Sound Editors have more immediate responsibilities, so this "grunt-work" gets divvied up.
Are these "librarians" present for these recording sessions in the field, taking notes, moving mics, monitoring levels? Or are they back with the vault and they get a pile of CF cards and a log handed to them and are told to make sense of it all?
As Jay mentioned over here, the modern Sound Effects Editor is expected to have these librarian skills as well. Clearly the responsibilities of the position are vital and still exist in today's workflow. But what are the basic (or advanced) Librarian skills that one needs? My assumption is cleaning the field recordings, entering metadata, having a mental catalog of what's on file, and maintaining multiple databases, drives and backups. Am I far off?