100 articles that every librarian should read


Over at Ruminations, Con is thinking about a link that she retweeted today from  @clairebrooks entitled 100 Articles that Every Journalist Should Read.

Con is riffing on this and wonders whether collaboratively we can get together 100 articles that you would:

recommend to anyone working in a library, who is thinking about the future of libraries and their role in building this future?

I have my own list of articles that I think all librarians should read – well those that are interested in the same things as me, anyhow. Some are there because they offer a perspective from outside the library echo-chamber, some are there because they represent large-scale research that breaks away from the “how we done it good” that characterizes much library literature. Some are toolkits for equity of access.  Most items are on it because they are a good read by themselves – clear, logical and interesting writing that makes me think of more questions, rather than feel like I have just read all the answers.

Strahl, P. (2011). Thumbs-up Conny. Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/strahl/5723899741/

I see very little literature on my list about management or philosophies of librarianship. There is little about taxonomy, cataloguing, corporate librarianship and knowledge management. I guess they are outside my interests.

My list has an Australian slant, and leans toward:

  • equity of access to information and library resources
  • the impact on libraries of shared data on the internet
  • how library users find research information
  • format changes – the rise of online video, ebooks, transliteracy and DRM
  • how librarians and libraries are preparing for the future

I have created a Zotero group for sharing articles that people recommend, 100 articles every librarian should read . The library of references is here, 100 articles that every librarian should read library .It is public, so anyone can look at it. Some of my links go through my university library’s link resolver, but it is easy to work out what they should be.  If  you have (or make!) a Zotero account, then you can add your own candidates. We can then pare them down to just 100. If you are blogging this or want to contribute to the list in another way, please pop over to Con’s post Day 14 #blogjune Library Futures Reading List and leave a comment there.

So – I have around 40 items on my list. I am sure that only about a quarter of them would make it to a definitive list of “must reads” for EVERY librarian. What would you keep? What is missing?


I have asterisked *** those that I think you should read RIGHT NOW. 

  • Berners-Lee, T., Hendler, J., & Lassila, O. (2001). The semantic Web: a new form of Web content that is meaningful to computers will unleash a revolution of new possibilities. Scientific American, 284(5), 34.
  • Gow, V., Brown, L., Johnston, C., Neale, A., Paynter, G., & Rigby, F. (2009). Making New Zealand Content Easier to Find, Share and Use. Museums and the Web 2009. Presented at the Museums and the Web 2009, Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics,. Retrieved from http://www.archimuse.com/mw2009/papers/gow/gow.html
  • Holland, M. (1997). Diffusion of innovation theories and their relevance to understanding the role of librarians when introducing users to networked information. The Electronic Library, 15(5), 389-394. doi:10.1108/eb045587
  • King, D. L. (2009). What is a Digital Branch, Anyway? Building the Digital Branch: Guidelines for Transforming Your Library Website, Library Technology Reports, 45(6), 5-9.
  • Levine, R., Locke, C., Searles, D., Weinberger, D., & McKee, J. (1999). The Cluetrain Manifesto. Retrieved April 29, 2011, from http://www.cluetrain.com/
  • Morville, P. (2005). Information Interaction. Ambient Findability (pp. 43-63). O’Reilly Media, Inc.
  • Oldenburg, R. (1999). The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community (3rd ed.). Da Capo Press.


Post number 15 for #blogjune 2011. Half way there!!!!

19 thoughts on “100 articles that every librarian should read

  1. Thank you for sharing such a comprehensive and interesting list, as a BIS student, any information shared by a working librarian/information professional is incredibly useful.

  2. Thanks for this great list.
    It’s reassuring that I’ve read some of these articles, most I’ve been introduced to thru my BIS. Look forward to reading others in this list.

  3. Thanks you so much for this KG! What a great thing it was to discover this list when I was just beginning a free weekend.

  4. An oldie but a goldie O.F Robinson’s Give’m What they Want from the early 1980’s in LJ. It has helped guide me on a collection development perspective of good books vs popular materials balance. It also has carry over to electronic resources…

  5. I found this in class today as part of our lesson on using technorati and am looking forward to reading these articles when time permits. Fabulous resource for students in my opinion.

What do you think? Let us know.