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.