Crash Course in Reference (Crash Course Series)

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 28%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $4.84
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 83%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (12) from $4.84   
  • New (3) from $31.43   
  • Used (9) from $4.84   


This introductory book is a basic review of reference services in public libraries. It includes tips on locating resources in both print and online formats, makes suggestions for purchases and maintenance of the reference collection, reviews the ethical aspects of providing information to all patrons, and provides information on how to join a network of reference librarians who can assist you when you cannot find an answer.

A basic explanation of reference services for those with little formal LIS training working in small rural libraries or others who have been working in other areas and wish to brush up on their skills, this author provides an introduction to reference services including search strategies.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
". . . a complete guidebook for librarians in keeping and maintaining a reference collection. Focusing on using resources to find the best and most efficient books on every subject, and information on finding the answer when it continues to elude ones search, Crash Course in Reference is a top pick for any librarian trying to make their collection the best possible."


Midwest Book Review

"This book is written for practicing librarians and library staff who do not possess a professional education in librarianship. Information is presented in straightforward style with professional terminology defined and filled with practical advice… Database searching is very clearly explained."


Library Media Connection

"Author Charlotte Ford's clear writing style and obvious reference know-how results in an easy-to-read introduction to the art of providing assistance to your library users. . . . Ford has put together a clearly written, thoughtful guide that provides logical, sound reasoning to direct your approach to learning about reference work. Although aimed at beginners, its reading can serve as a gentle reminder of good practice that benefits all of us involved in reference service."


Collection Management

"Bottom line: Recommended."


Teacher Librarian

"Charlotte Ford's book entails a comprehensive overview of reference resources for library paraprofessionals, librarians returning to the library field and looking for a refresher, or individuals interested in career possibilities…I think this is a good book to keep as a reference tool. When time permits, go back and review the chapters searching the websites, checking out what your library owns, and even doing the review questions at the end of each chapter."


Colorado Association of Libraries

"Written for the new librarian or one who has no training in reference services, or for the librarian needing a refresher of reference service or an introduction to the new reference methodology and resources available today, Crash Course in Reference truly presents the reader with a comprehensive overview of working as a reference librarian, from the interview, to the collection, to finding materials, and more. . . . Useful for the future reference librarian as well as a resource of materials to be included in a reference library, the work is a great review as well as introduction to the life of a librarian, illustrating both the positive and the challenging situations."



"One in a series of Crash Course titles from Libraries Unlimited, Crash Course in Reference fulfills the promise implied in its title. Ford has crafted a succinct, well-designed manual for all things reference in public library settings… Crash Course in Reference is an affordable, must-have resource for public libraries of all sizes and is of particular interest for training new staff.' "


Reference & User Services Quarterly

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591584636
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/30/2008
  • Series: Crash Course Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 143
  • Sales rank: 932,735
  • Age range: 18 years
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

CHARLOTTE FORD is an Assistant Professor in the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University. She holds a BA degree from Earlham College and a MLS and PhD from Indiana University. She has reference library experience in Bogota, Colombia and Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 What Is Reference Service? 1

Ch. 2 Communicating with Your Patrons 9

Ch. 3 Building and Maintaining a Reference Collection 21

Ch. 4 Searching Print and Electronic Sources 31

Ch. 5 Finding Books: Library Catalogs and Bibliographies 47

Ch. 6 Finding Articles: Indexes and Databases 59

Ch. 7 Finding Background Information and Definitions: Encyclopedias and Dictionaries 73

Ch. 8 Finding Facts Fast: Ready Reference 83

Ch. 9 Using the Web to Reach Your Patrons and Help Them Find Information 91

Ch. 10 Reference Ethics and Reference Policies 101

Ch. 11 Networking with Other Libraries and Librarians 111

Ch. 12 For More Information 121

Index 135

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)