Carnegie Mellon University
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Becoming a Science Librarian: Accident, Serendipity, or Purposeful Plan?

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journal contribution
posted on 2006-01-01, 00:00 authored by Donna M Beck, Rachel Callison

Increasing concern has been expressed in the literature regarding the recruitment and retention of qualified librarians within the profession. Science and Technology Libraries share equally in considering the consequences of this trend. Two Science Librarians, neither possessing a degree in the sciences, will discuss the skills, competencies, and experiences that enable them to thrive in a challenging and dynamic work environment. Descriptive statistics from a survey of other newly hired science librarians, regardless of their science background, will also be incorporated. In addition to exploring perceived strengths, this paper will address the possible disadvantages that the lack of a science “background” may present. Science background will be discussed in terms of having previously obtained a degree in the sciences. The approach to the topic is from the perspective of the new hire (not necessarily a “new” librarian), rather than that of the hiring institution; however, strategies and methods that are useful to both groups will be offered.


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