Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Maybe I should've been a librarian

I've noticed this academic year that I really enjoy connecting people with the tools, tips, and tricks to help them do research, writing, and collaboration more efficiently. I love telling people about Papers and Mendeley, both programs for managing pdfs and notes associated with journal articles. I love explaining why everyone should use a reference manager like Zotero or EndNote (or others) to cite-while-you-write and make bibliographies. I love showing people how to use wikis to facilitate group writing projects. I love sitting around and trading Mac tips and program suggestions. I love helping other grad students design their own web pages. It strikes me that these are the types of things academic librarians do these days (or at least they should).

As a result of my undergraduate experience, I greatly appreciate well-run libraries and the librarians that make them work. I received library education in several different classes, where students learned how to use the different resources available to them such as web design programs and scholarly databases. I recall that the SFC library is well-respected (albeit small, since the school is too), but I didn't appreciate what a good library was until I graduated. After graduation, Jon and I lived in a town with a public library that must have had one of the worst online catalogs in the country. Seriously, I have no idea how it could be so bad. But I digress...

I have been tossing around thoughts on some of the queries I made for myself back in November. So far the only blogworthy thing that has come out of it is my enjoyment of connecting people with research tools. I don't really know what to make of that in terms of my career choices now, but maybe I should have considered being a librarian.

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