Who's knowledgeable about science, technology, history and literature?

Jul 21 2011 Published by under information literacy, librarianship, reference

Reference librarians, of course!

I'm reading Last Car to Elysian Fields by mystery writer James Lee Burke and came across this rather nice passage on pages 141-142.

So where do you go to find a researcher who is intelligent, imaginative, skilled in the use of computers, devoted to discovering the truth, and knowledgeable about science, technology, history and literature, and who usually works for dirt and gets credit for nothing?

After lunch I drove down to the city library on Main and asked the reference librarian...

And the whole scene in the novel is really very good, as Burke's protagonist Dave Robicheaux and the librarian hunt up some information on a particular blues musician. I really like how the reference interview and how the relentless hunt for more and better information that so obsesses librarians is portrayed.

Burke is a terrific writer, by the way, and all his novels are well worth checking out especially is you like hard boiled/noir crime fiction.

I have noted Burke's love of librarians before.

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