Librarians and Science, discuss

A discussion well worth having. Dorothea Salo at “The Book of Trogool’s” recent post on Science Online 2010 (which one of us attended) mentions an interesting exchange she (a librarian) had:

Interlocutor: “So what do you do?
Me: “I’m a librarian.”
Interlocutor: *lengthy pause* So… what are you doing here exactly?

Er, what? A conference about science communication? How on earth can that not be imagined to intrigue a librarian?

This, ladies and gentlemen. THIS. Right here. This disconnect is the number-one threat to science librarianship today—perhaps to all academic librarianship. How can science libraries persist when scientists haven’t the least notion that libraries or librarians are relevant to their work?

I noticed a similar discussion going at STELLA (manifested in topics on embedding, the library of the future and science 2.0). My basic take on this is that researchers are are going to need physical libraries less and less (do they really need them now?) and librarians more and more (but they don’t seem to realize that). I commented as such on the post above.

Deepak Singh has asked a similar question today, and started a discussion.

2 thoughts on “Librarians and Science, discuss

  1. Kevin Karplus

    I have a presentation by the bibliographer from our field once a year in the core course for our seniors and first-year grads. She generally covers advanced search techniques (which change each year, as new features are implemented in the main bibliographic databases like pubmed) and the changes in scientific publishing (open-access versus traditional publication) and how library budgets have shrunk even as subscription costs have spiraled out of control.

  2. Pingback: ScienceOnline2010: Making Connections | The OpenHelix Blog

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