Librarians: Why do you read ScienceBlogs?

Apparently, there are thousands of librarians that read ScienceBlogs. No surprisingly, the ScienceBlogs brain trust wants to know why.

In particular, they are looking to gather some information about what librarians hope to get out of reading the site. The question is: how does the content on ScienceBlogs help you in your role as a librarian?

You can send your thoughts to editorial at scienceblogs dot com or just leave it as a comment here.

I'll start.

I'm a science librarian so I have a couple of information needs in my work. First of all, I need to understand science and where it's going. New developments, new discoveries, important trends.

Second of all, I need to understand scientists and their culture. How do scientists do their work, how do they find the information they need to do that work, what issues obsess them and what needs drive them. I need to know what's happening with trends in scholarly publishing and how that's affecting scientists. In particular, I need to understand how open access and open science plays into all this and what arguments both proponents and opponents are using. This kind of information will help me understand my users better and help them with their information needs as well as to be a more effective advocate for openness on my campus.

ScienceBlogs helps me with those information needs.

(Christina has also asked the question.)

5 thoughts on “Librarians: Why do you read ScienceBlogs?”

  1. I'm a library student, and I've read SB for quite a while. I have a background in science, a BS in Psychology. This degree put me through a few clases that talked about how easily the brain fools itself, and there was one fantastic class on the various discredited pscyh therapies which were still being used today. That led me to skepticism, which led me to Respectful Insolence, which led me to SB. The variety of blogs on SB give a great overview of the issues I care about in science and politics.

  2. As I've mentioned before, I'm a retired medical librarian. Even if they are specialists (science, medical, law, whatever) librarians always have to be generalists in their field. They need to be aware of everything going on across the breadth of that field, even though most of the people they serve have very limited interests or specialties. Almost by definition a librarian needs to have a broader field of vision than the people he/she serves.

    What better way to expand that field of vision than through reading many/most of the ScienceBlogs?

  3. I read Science Blogs for the (usually) quality information. I am an extremely curious person (which is a lot of why I am a reference librarian) and Science Blogs helps me fill me desire to 'know everything'.

  4. I'm a medical librarian, and I read ScienceBlogs for excellent take-downs of non-scientific nonsense, to keep an eye on hot topics across the scientific disciplines, and to satisfy my general curiosity/need to know things. I also worked in a science library and did a geology major as an undergrad, and ScienceBlogs helps me keep one bit of my mind connected to those non-medical, scientific worlds.

  5. I'm a public librarian in a very small community library. I read ScienceBlogs for the sheer joy of discovery, wonder, and intelligent snarkiness. Reading anything will eventually help with one reference question or another (I'm recalling a delightful reference transaction that began with ancient Chinese poetry and ended with Crusader Rabbit) but truly I'd read ScienceBlogs anyway. I'm not reading ScienceBlogs because I'm a librarian.

    I'm curious by nature, which is part of why I became a librarian, and most of why I read here.

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