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Poster: "Stephanie M. Thorson" <smt2@st-andrews.ac.uk>

On Thu, 30 Apr 1998, Marybeth Lavrakas wrote:

> I thought this message would be of interest to some in the Kingdom.  Don't
> be shy about joining the list if you're interested, but a word of warning.
> Judging from my experience on the H-Albion list, some scholars do not take
> kindly to 'basic' queries (ie ones they can assume don't come from
> scholars in their field, so they cn feel secure about sneering at them).
> Others are quite helpful & supportive, though.

Just a word in defence of professional scholars everywhere:  Generally
lists like H-Albion or any of the multitudinous other such lists are
organised by and for professionals, not as chat rooms.  We tend to assume
that people reading these lists are capable of spending a couple hours in
the library to do their own basic research, just as we do ourselves.  It
is not the people who aren't specialists (we can't all be specialists in
everything) but the ones who seem to expect the listmembers should be
handing them information on a silver platter who are generally considered
troublemakers.  This is not because we are mean, it is because we want to
keep our jobs.  Scholars earn their livings by doing research and
publishing themselves, and by teaching paying students, not by doing
spadework for every interested amateur.  Therefore enquiries phrased "My
library lacks resource materials for X field of study; can anyone point me
to some good introductory volumes that I can request through ILL?" will go
down much better than "Can anyone tell me all about X?" 

Stephanie M. Thorson			|  SCA: Lady Alianora Munro
Dept. of Scottish History		|  Clan White Wing
University of St Andrews		|  Tarkhan, Khanate Red Lion

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