May 25, 2022

New Journal Article: “The Value of Subject Specialization and the Future of Science Liaison Librarianship”

The article linked below was recently published in the June 2021 issue of C&RL (College & Research Libraries).


The Value of Subject Specialization and the Future of Science Liaison Librarianship


Laura Palumbo
Rutgers University

Jeffra D. Bussmann
California State University-East Bay

Barbara Kern
University of Chicago


C&RL (College & Research Libraries)
Vol. 82, No. 1 (June 2021)
DOI: 10.5860/crl.82.4.584


Through a survey of more than 200 US academic science librarians, we investigated the perceived value of subject specialization; looked for trends toward or away from science subject specialization; and analyzed predictions about the future of science liaison librarianship. Results showed that science librarians perceive subject specialization positively and predict it will continue to be necessary in the future. They also perceive that liaison relationships will remain crucial.


While functional roles appear to be growing, they were not seen as replacing traditional subject responsibilities. Results suggest a shift toward a more generalist approach; however, additional research is needed before stating this conclusively.

Direct to Full Text Article

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.