Notes of a Binge Thinker

Thoughts from NTLP's Executive Director

All libraries need an article like this one!

Here is a great article about Carol Maxwell, a research librarian at the Westbank Library System, near Austin.  In this month where we are considering reference, I thought this article was very appropriate.

Carol Maxwell knows a lot of things about a lot of things.

She knows the favorite weapon of medieval knights. She knows about the impact of climate change on plant growth, and she knows how big dinosaurs were. She knows quite a bit about Native Americans and Shakespeare. She knows about the Pennybacker Bridge, sirens, diseases, transportation statistics, advances in alternative energies, police brutality, the impact of single-sex schools on academic achievement, and much more.

Maxwell doesn’t just know these things because she was terribly attentive during school. No, she is among a new breed of superheroes in these modern times. Carol Maxwell is a research librarian.

That’s right. You read it correctly. Maxwell is a research librarian.

Here is another neat quote!

“Reference librarians have changed a lot over the years,” said Lisa Charbonnet, branch manager of Laura’s Library. “Once upon a time, they were guardians of information. It was scarce and precious and needed careful tending, lest it be lost forever. Then they became gatekeepers of information; they knew where the keys were and how to find their way through Byzantine stacks and corridors. Now, in the Information Age, they’re guides, trained to deal with information in many, many forms and to work with people to find just what they need in the most efficient way.”

What are some other ways libraries can spread the word about the importance of reference in this digital age?


Written by amwlkaw

January 21, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Posted in Misc

One Response

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  1. This is a great article! I wish every library would take the time to contact their local paper and get an article like this put into it – we need to shout from the rooftops how helpful and necessary libraries and library staff are – especially in the current economic and world crisis.


    January 22, 2010 at 8:47 am

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