Victoria Martin. Transdisciplinarity Revealed: What Librarians Need to Know. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Libraries Unlimited, 2017. 211p. Paper. $85.00 (ISBN 978-1-4408-4347-1).

Joseph Aubele


Academia is rooted in disciplinary distinctions, so it is no surprise that academic librarianship shares that quality. Over time, as “multidisciplinary,” “interdisciplinary,” and “transdisciplinary” have increasingly become part of the process of knowledge creation within higher education, librarians have adapted. But, while most education professionals are able to explain the distinctions between multi- and interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity is less understood, so much so that it is often perceived as a synonym for the better known modes of knowledge creation. In an ambitious work, that is both a meticulously researched history of the development of transdisciplinarity and a forward-looking call for librarians to anticipate and prepare for the challenges that will arise as it is more widely embraced and implemented, the author sets out to clarify transdisciplinarity for her readers. In doing so, she highlights the potential and challenges of becoming more knowledgeable about, and adept at serving, this highly integrative and collaborative approach to scholarship, discusses areas of librarianship that may be profoundly impacted as transdisciplinarity continues to be adopted among scholars, and challenges existing paradigms within librarianship.

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