A call for the philosopher librarian

Librarian Dave Puplett on the role of the librarian.

Academics must be applauded for making a stand by boycotting Elsevier. It’s time for librarians to join the conversation on the future of dissemination, but not join the boycott. | Impact of Social Sciences.

Interesting to view the librarian as midwife — very Socratic. We’ve discussed the possibility of the philosopher bureaucrat here before, along with what constitutes ‘real’ philosophy. What about the philosopher librarian?

A librarian should be well positioned to affect scholarly communication — for instance, she may well be involved with  Open Access policies, such as the one we recently adopted  at UNT, or be an advocate for them at her institution.

In the latter situation, the librarian will have to convince the university community that an Open Access policy is in the university’s interest. In the former situation, unless the existing policy is mandatory, it will be up to the librarian not only to disseminate information about the policy to the researchers at the institution, but also to make a case that those researchers ought to participate. In other words, the librarian will have to be able to construct an effective argument — the classic skill of the philosopher. Either the librarian will have to become a philosopher, or a philosopher will have to become the librarian.

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