One narrow little viewpoint on academic library function
May 12, 2010
Scibling and library dude John Dupuis has a post up on:
It focuses on librarian interaction with the rest of the academic campus. For the most part I’m just confused about where the problem lies, but I did seem to glean two things. One, he’s concerned about budget shrinkage, “defenders” and “making a case” to the rest of the campus. Second, he’s more or less soliciting opinion from non librarians.
My two cents about academic libraries after the jump.
The greatest and awesomest most eleventy information technology developments in the daily life of a scientist are two fold.
First, the searchable and unified database of academic literature. In a word, PubMed. If I know how to gild and ensparkle that word, I would, to give a pale shadow of the proper emphasis [proper emphasis a la becca]. You young whippersnappers in my audience have no. effing. idea. of what it is like to have to search through printed Abstract books. I do. PubMed is better. Like CNC machining versus knapping flints better.
Second, immediate and unfettered online access to any published work one finds by searching the aforementioned sainted database. Okay, so we’re still working on this one. The potential is achingly, hauntingly there in front of our noses. We can see how it should be but we’re just not quite there yet.
This brings me back to my original point about librarians and libraries. My most pressing need is to gain access to more of the academic literature with fewer hurdles. Access from my computer. Anywhere. With fewer clicks through proxy servers and specialized journal links.
I guess I don’t really have any use for librarians per se. Except in so far as they get me closer to these unfettered access goals.