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Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship
Summer 2000

Letters

From: William Burk
E-mail: billburk@email.unc.edu
Affiliation: Biology Librarian, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Regarding: Training Future Science Librarians (Spring 2000)

Having served as the Biology Librarian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for over 21 years, I have had frequent contact with the librarian and SILS students at the EPA Library. In fact, some of our library graduate students transferred to the EPA Library to gain additional science librarianship experience there. This article provided a succinct and factual overview of the relationship of the EPA Library and SILS program, therefore giving me pertinent background on this relationship. I am pleased to know that someone has now documented this unique relationship between UNC and EPA. --Many thanks for publishing this valuable addition to the library literature.

From: Virginia K. King
E-mail: jw2dking@lcc.net
Affiliation: Retired
Regarding: Training Future Science Librarians (Spring 2000)

I keep telling myself that I should care less, but I was delighted to read the paper covering training of science and technology librarians at the Environmental Protection Agency Library at Research Triangle Park, SC. I am retired! I have for years personally thought that library schools were missing out on a tremendous opportunity by not training those with the right bend of mind in the scientific and technical arena. Oh, I know that they have courses covering the science and technology reference tools either as part of the general reference courses or as separate Sci/Tech course. A few library schools stand out in front of the others in this aspect. I went to the normal library school, which trained school or public librarians in the 1960s. Then I found the challenge of technical research libraries. A lot of the customer demands were foreign to my training. To do a literature search on any subject takes understanding of the subject and intent of the researcher. To find training in this area on a practical basis was in my mind non-existent until I read this article. Perhaps this article is telling me that other library schools exist that are doing the same thing. I also hope that they are covering handling of proprietary and classified information, the antitheses of ALA's stand on access to information. I also hope they have courses on how to present a budget proposal, cataloging and classification of lab notebooks, letters, memorandums and the multitude of peculiar items that are brought to the tech library. Some of my successors probably mutter under their breath as they do market research compilations, patent searches, papers on knowledge (or information) management, and other odd library functions. I am convinced that there is a relationship between the level of library service and the stability of the corporate organization. However, that is another subject. Thank you, for having this publication online. I must still care.

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