About Members Meetings



The IAU Commission B Working Group exists to foster communication and understanding between research astronomers and the librarians and other information professionals who support them. Librarians have long been an essential resource to astronomers, helping to track down hard-to-find resources, maintaining access to bibliographic databases, and managing the complex finances associated with journal and book collections. The roles of the library and librarian are changing as information becomes increasingly digital in format and increasingly available on the Internet, but the librarian is no less essential than before. We aim to foster a strong partnership between astronomers and librarians so that together common goals can be attained.

The WG on Libraries was officially recognized for the first time in the Transactions of the IAU XXI A (Reports on Astronomy 1990), but librarians were involved in Commission 5 activities before that (largely due to the efforts of George A. Wilkins, President of the Commission from 1982-1988) (see Transactions of the IAU XX A, Reports on Astronomy 1987). Wayne Warren (Goddard Space Flight Center, USA) and Helen Knudsen (Califormia Institute of Technology) were the group's first chairpersons, Brenda Corbin (U.S. Naval Observatory) became Helen Knudsen's successor in 1990. From 1996 to November 2008, Fionn Murtagh (School of Computer Science, Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Ireland) and Uta Grothkopf (European Southern Observatory, Germany) have been co-chairs. From December 2008 through August 2015, Bob Hanisch (STScI, Baltimore, MD) and Marsha Bishop (NRAO, Charlottesville, VA) served as co-chairs of the working group. In August 2015 Jill Lagerstrom (STScI) and Donna Thompson (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory) were appointed co-chairs.

Some projects of interest to both librarians and astronomers (though not developed under the auspices of this group) are:

IAU Collaborations