An important part of the librarians' mission is to keep their users informed about suitable information resources. By nature, this requires that the librarian herself be well-informed about what is available and what potential value lies in a resource. In our rapidly growing world of information resources, one person alone will not succeed in obtaining knowledge of all available products, all services that may be needed by our users, or on the entire range of options we can offer. Communication among fellow librarians therefore is critical in carrying out librarians' professional duties. Participating in mailing lists, attending conferences and other continuing education events, and discussing issues with library users as well as with publishers and vendors are all important activities for staying informed about latest developments.
Personal communication with colleagues, be it through electronic or traditional methods, is also vital. Astronomy libraries often are small entities; a solo librarian at an observatory library or at a geographically remote university institute is a common situation. In somewhat isolated settings that don't lend themselves to regular personal encounters with colleagues it is even more important to stay in close contact with fellow librarians through all available means. Fortunately, distance can be bridged far easier than previously in this era of electronic mail.
In the following, we look at various forms of communication and review their advantages, disadvantages and possible positive outcomes.