Reinventing Science
Librarianship:
Themes from the
ARL-CNI Forum
Elisabeth Jones, PhD Student, University of Washington Information
School, and Research Assistant on e-Science and Cyberinfrastructure,
University of Washington Libraries
OVirginia,
n October 16–17, 2008, more than 230 science librarians and library
directors gathered at the ARL-CNI Fall Forum in Arlington,
to consider the implications of e-science and e-research
for science librarians and the changing nature of their work. The forum,
“Reinventing Science Librarianship: Models for the Future,” was orchestrated
by the ARL E-Science Working Group and brought together panels of
scientists, science librarians, and research library directors to address the
needs of scientists working in distributed and collaborative networked
environments, the priorities for retraining science librarians, and the
importance of new directions in library practices. A comprehensive collection
of forum resources is available from the ARL Web site and the author’s blog;1
this article focuses on three thematic threads woven throughout the various
panels and presentations:
1. The Process of Reinventing Science Librarianship
2. Serving Future Generations of Users
3. The Librarian as Middleware
Each of these themes recurred frequently at the forum, and each represents an
area of particular relevance for science librarians—and in many cases, for
research librarians more generally. For this author, the themes represent the
substantive takeaway messages from the forum that should influence
libraries’ next steps in responding to the needs of scientific researchers.
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FEBRUARY 2009 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC