Document Type

Book Chapter


For most of their development as disciplines, the social sciences were fragmented, often contested subjects in academia. Their fields of concern – humanity, society, and human relationships with the environment – placed them in both the humanities and natural sciences camps of the academic world. Indeed, specializations in the broader field of the social sciences did not occur until the Twentieth century, causing a splinter of subject areas that refused to have anything to do with one another. However, this era of retrenchment has ended, and the traditional boundaries between the social sciences has once again become indistinct. But there is one concern that all social sciences share: the need for cohesive and manageable information. How do librarians accomplish such a feat when the metaphorical sand is constantly shifting beneath their feet? Emerging technologies such as Web 2.0, social networking software, social tagging, and wikis allow librarians and data gatherers to manage the growing body of knowledge and data while also reaching an ever-changing and increasingly technologically savvy clientele. By using these emerging technologies, libraries can create “one-stop shops” that allow scholars and students to acquire and deposit information related to the social sciences as well as communicate with each other to further global scholarship.


Library and Information Science


Pre-Print of published article in

Alteri, S. & Sensiba, M. (2010). No Passport Needed: Border Crossings in the Academic Library. In Witt, S.W. & Rudasill, L.M. (Eds.). Social Science Libraries: Interdisciplinary Collections, Services, Networks. De Gruyter: Berlin.