Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Interesting blog post mentioning librarians as fact checkers from the blog, Discovering Biology in a Digital World . The author, Sandra Porter, is attending ScienceOnline 2010 [ http://www.scienceonline2010.com/index.php/wiki ], and comments on what she heard during a session on trust and critical thinking.

Speaking from professional experience, reaching out to scientists can be one of the most difficult jobs I have as a librarian. I truly admire and am in awe of reseachers, and consider it a high honor to serve their information needs. It is so hard getting them to tell me what they need, though - almost as if they don't want to appear lacking in knowledge. Also hard is to gain their respect as one that can locate information - I was once challenged in a PubMed class by a scientist who asked me who I thought I was that I could look up their information when I did not share their degree. I hope I responded effectively: I said that I was once a US Army librarian, and could look up information about tank parts, even though I could not drive a tank. My specialty is in locating information in databases, and it is my job to know how those databases/directories work in order to dig out the information needed. The scientist appeared to take my comment well, but I continue to work hard to reach out to the teams of hard-working researchers on my campus.

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