When I viewed the elaborate research life cycle model we had for today, I was a bit overwhelmed by how many tasks there were. I think many faculty feel the same way–especially since a lot of these tasks are more of a kind of necessary housekeeping for the main show, which is research and writing. Scholars don’t want to have to be bothered by housework any more than absolutely necessary; the research and thinking (let’s not forget that) and writing are quite demanding enough.
So here’s a better answer for Emily’s excellent question about what role can librarians play. We can assist with the housekeeping, make it as painless and efficient as possible. We can offer guidance on how to manage files, documents, notes, and on the new tools that come out every day. Scholars don’t want to have to think about their tools; they want to be able to just use them. We can help them get to the point where they know the right tool to use and how to use it without having to think too much about it.