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Bibliographer's Manual

Table of Contents | I. Introduction | II. Bibliographer | III. Functions | IV. Mission | V. Program | VI. Appendix


II. Bibliographer as Subject Specialist


Bibliographers are frequently described as librarians who are subject specialists. This includes both area and language specialists. The bibliographer helps to develop the Libraries' collections in support of the University's research and instructional missions, through recommendation for purchase, identification of special acquisition opportunities, interacting with donors, etc.


Generally, the bibliographer is not expected to have the depth of knowledge of a field or fields necessary for faculty teaching in that field. The bibliographer is a generalist within a specialty who strives for a balanced view of the discipline while responding to specific academic needs and interests. The bibliographer continues to enlarge his or her subject knowledge by formal and informal means and may conduct research and publish in the subject field.


It is highly recommended that the bibliographer set up a Web page which will supplement library collections by linking with supplementary resources. Examples of such links would be association pages, outstanding Web sites in the subject, pathfinders, specialized library catalogs, etc.



Qualifications for becoming a subject bibliographer may be filled in a variety of ways. An advanced degree in the subject in addition to the degree in librarianship is generally preferred, but other education and experience are acceptable. Fortunately, a basic knowledge of the bibliographic process generally transfers from one discipline to another. Bibliographers may be recruited in at least three ways. They may be hired as a subject specialist, librarians within the system may be asked to serve as a bibliographer, or a librarian may volunteer to take on bibliographer responsibilities.

Temporary or Interim Bibliographer

In the event that a bibliographer leaves, resigns, or otherwise becomes unable to continue bibliographic duties, a temporary bibliographer may be appointed by the Collection Development Librarian. In most cases, a temporary bibliographer will be expected to take care of approval books, orders, requests, and liason work. Unless agreed to at the outset, temporary bibliographers will not be expected to teach or take part in orientation for that department.