The intellectual care and feeding of science librarians


This is more of a post for scientists and engineers – or for sci/tech librarians to pass along to them for comment.  Over the years I’ve developed a view of the book as a productivity tool.  Suppose a biologist and a mathematician are working together on  a project.  Perhaps each feels a bit uncertain about the other’s field of study, but each know of a book in their own field that they could recommend to the other to help bring them up to speed or to generate more insight/discussion.  Because of this general opinion about books, I thought … maybe scientists or engineers might want to give their librarians a summer reading list.

So, think about it folks.  If you want your librarian to understand your research better, what would you recommend for us to read.  The vast majority of us are fairly intelligent individuals … some of us have a bit of a science background … a few have quite a bit of a science background.   What would you put on your librarian’s summer reading list?

We’re polishing our glasses …


Matthew R. Marsteller

Head, Science Libraries

Carnegie Mellon University


About matthewm53
I'm a Senior Engineering & Science Librarian at Carnegie Mellon University.

2 Responses to The intellectual care and feeding of science librarians

  1. Donna says:

    Since I’m not a scientist or engineer, I shouldn’t really be responding.
    But, I would like to pass on a suggestion for 2 books that were recommended to me in a Continuing Education course that I took at SLA’s annual conference this year, “Chemistry for the Non-Chemist Librarian”:

    Access to Chemistry by Alan Jones, et al., Royal Society of Chemistry ©1999
    Stereochemistry by David G. Morris, Royal Society of Chemistry © 2001

  2. matthewm53 says:

    Thanks Donna,

    I gave myself a reading project with:

    One, two, three — infinity : facts and speculations of science by George Gamow. New York : Dover Publications, 1988. Originally published: New York : Viking Press, 1961.

    Book of numbers by John Horton Conway. New York : Copernicus Springer-Verlag, 1996.

    and then someone sent me this as a gift:

    Super crunchers : why thinking-by-numbers is the new way to be smart by Ian Ayers. New York : Bantam, 2007.

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