Emerging Solutions in Reference Services

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Overview

How can you enhance reference services without adding staff?

Modern law librarians are under growing pressure to keep up with new technologies, deal instantly with the demands of patrons, keep the library safe and user-friendly, and generally offer the best possible service while keeping costs down. Emerging Solutions in Reference Services: Implications for Libraries in the New Millennium is a very practical guide for coping with rapidly changing technology and increasing demands for services. Its sane, well-researched advice and suggestions can help you deal with the hectic days and nights behind the reference desk.

Emerging Solutions in Reference Services suggests up-to-date, innovative ways to deal with the traditional issues confronting librarians, including:

  • handling problem patrons and ensuring security
  • assigning reference responsibilities
  • teaching patrons at the reference desk or on library tours
  • drafting enforceable rules
  • avoiding the unauthorized practice of law
  • charging--or not charging--fees for services
  • cross-training reference personnel

    Some of the traditional problems of law librarians are solved by computers; others are actually exacerbated by the new technologies available. In addition to finding ways that technology can help law librarians, Emerging Solutions in Reference Services offers solutions for the special problems posed by new technology, including questions of Web design, setting up online reference services, virtual library tours, Internet training for patrons, and ensuring technological competency of staff.

    In these days of decreasing budgets and increasing demands for services, Emerging Solutions in Reference Services is an invaluable resource for the librarian caught in the middle.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Harriette Susan Kelly, M.L.I.S.(Ohio Valley Medical Center)
Description: This is a compilation of more than a dozen authors' ideas of what challenges the librarian faces today and in the future and ways of coping with and using the new technological advances in librarianship.
Purpose: Author John Edwards succeeds in his authorship of a "source book" for librarians with an introduction to problems librarians are facing in the new millennium and their solutions. In addition to this introduction, Mr. Edwards calls upon the expertise of others to address a number of librarians' concerns from security issues to cross-training staff on the reference desk with an emphasis on the impact of technology on the everyday business of the library.
Audience: This publication is aimed at the reference librarian within the law library, but in my judgment administrators as well as students of library science will find this publication beneficial. Mr. Edwards' long association with legal libraries and teaching makes him an authority on these topics.
Features: New technology is changing how we as librarians do our job and how our patrons access information. The personal computer has redefined the work of the librarian and this book briefly outlines the computer skills that the librarian of the new millennium needs to possess; redefines the reference librarian's job; offers information on extending services beyond the library via use of the Web; gives advice on conducting the legal reference interview; generates ideas on the library tour; and offers suggestions for drafting useable rules,enacting fees for services, and handling security problems. The expansive reference list at the end of each chapter is helpful to those readers wishing to explore the topic in more detail. This publication is definitely geared towards those working within the legal library field.
Assessment: This is a valuable tool for anyone working or considering working in a legal library. The information is thought-provoking and the references are complete.
Gary Hill
The abstracts and tables of contents for each article quickly guide the reader to particular desired information. Any law librarian wishing to improve in the areas of legal research training at the reference desk,scripting library tours,accessing technology in the library,expanding reference services beyond the walls of the library,developing library policy,or staffing the reference desk will find help in this work. So will librarians struggling with the issues of the unauthorized practice of law or who are considering charging user fees. . . . presents the results of extensive research on many issues,research that I neede to do myself but have not had time for. Thanks, John. I owe you one.
Library Journal
This reviewer rarely quibbles about a title; however, Emerging Solutions in Reference Services: Implications for Libraries in the New Millennium is not quite right. This book is primarily about legal reference services and implications for law libraries (hence its simultaneous publication in Legal Reference Services Quarterly, Vol. 19, Nos.1/2, 2001). Edited by a law professor and director of the Drake Univ. Law School Library, the book includes seven chapters that view reference services from a uniquely law librarian landscape: web resources to train attorneys; legal research instruction at the reference desk; law library tours; electronic resources for law patrons; unauthorized practice of law at the reference desk; user fees in academic law libraries; and rules in law libraries. The five remaining chapters (PC problems, problem patrons, time management skills, reference services using technology, and reference desk staffing) are peppered with examples from law library settings. All that said, this volume is well done and definitely fills a niche in the law librarianship literature. Written by practicing law librarians, the chapters are concise and offer "solutions" that are practical and well grounded in both experience and the profession's service ethic. Buy the more economically priced softcover edition instead of the very expensive hardback. Highly recommended for law libraries. Janet Brewer, Murray State Univ. Lib., KY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction-Facing Library Problems: Solutions for the Millennium 1
Patrons and the PC: What Problems Should Reference Librarians Solve? 5
Problem Patrons and Library Security 19
All in a Day's Work: What's a Reference Librarian to Do? 41
Creating and Using Web Resources to Train Attorneys: An Experience with the State Bar 57
Taking Time for Legal Research Instruction at the Reference Desk 75
Law Library Tours in an Information Age: Format, Effectiveness and Function 99
Making Electronic Resources Available to Patrons 115
Enhancing Reference Services Through Technology 133
"Library Police": Drafting and Implementing Enforceable Library Rules 147
How to Avoid the Unauthorized Practice of Law at the Reference Desk 165
User Fees in Academic Law Libraries 181
Staffing the Reference Desk: Improving Service Through Cross-Training and Other Programs 207
Index 221
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