I'm sure you've read plenty library science literature, and that's as it should be. Getting a firm grounding in the ideas and philosophies of our profession is a great way to start, but it really is just a start. Once you've got that firm grounding, you need to look beyond the boundaries of lib sci. The topics you should pursue will depend on the kind of job and the kind of library. However, to give you an idea, here are some books I've read for work that aren't library science:
- Wayfinding: Designing and Implementing Graphic Navigational Systems by Craig Berger. I read this as part of a project that is still in process: I'm reworking and redesigning the signs in and around the library where I work. Instead of looking solely at what other librarians have said and done, I looked to people who design signs and wayfinding systems professionally.
- Publicity: 7 Steps to Publicize Just About Anything by David Carriere. When I took responsibility for marketing and outreach at my library, I spent a couple of months reading every pertinent thing I could find. That did include some books and materials written by librarians, but once again I wanted to learn what people who market and publicize for a living had to say. (Incidentally, I found this book so helpful that I bought a copy for my personal collection.)
- Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals by Saul Alinsky. This was written for and about political activists, so it might not seem immediately applicable to the work of an academic librarian. Look closer, though, and you'll realize Alinsky did more than give advice to the young activists of the Vietnam War Era - he also presented a guide to creative thinking and problem solving for anyone who wants to bring about change. Besides, I figure if this book is good enough for President Barack Obama, it's good enough for me.
My readings outside library science literature extend to periodicals as well. I read in the fields of educational psychology, disability studies, and epistemology - all of which feeds into my work as an instruction librarian. I read Paste and The Chronicle of Higher Education because these are titles members of my community read. I have a colleague who is the liaison both to our entrepreneurship program and to our economics, management and accounting department; he reads Crain's Cleveland Business for the same reason.
My point here is that you need to take the LIBS blinders off once in a while. Yes, if you have a problem, chances are very high that another librarian has dealt with similar circumstances. It's good and great and fantastic to see what our literature has to say on whatever topic. Even better, though, is to take the next step and look at what people outside our field have said. It can't hurt and it almost always helps.
How about you? What do you read besides library and information science literature? Why?