Here’s the one I mean:
“My experience with librarians, at least in scientific university libraries (I’m a scientist) is that they are basically incapable of anything beyond using the keywords in their database.
The reason is that they have absolutely no idea about what they are cataloguing.
If I walk to a librarian and I say “I’d like a book discussing the various definitions of computable reals”, I’m sure she’ll pull a face and input “computable reals” in her database. If the books were not tagged in this precise way, she’ll find nothing.
I’m unsure how humanities libraries are staffed, but the current situation of science libraries is that librarians offer no additional knowledge over the database that they use.”
The comment following pretty much puts this commenter in his/her place (go read that one, too), but it is kind of an interesting concept in light of:
- The biological sciences background some people think is required for medical librarians (I obviously don’t see it as remotely necessary)
- The recent trend of hiring PhD’s as subject librarians–PhD’s with no library experience or library coursework (seems kind of, I don’t know, pointless to me)
Maybe I’ll expound on that later. Or maybe you all should help me out and comment on it. 🙂