Reference and Information Services in the 21st Century: An Introduction / Edition 2

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Don't try to do good reference without it!

Kay Ann Cassell and Uma Hiremath have revised the second edition of their landmark text to deliver new information and reflect the changes in reference services since their last edition was published. This practical guide teaches failsafe methods for identifying important materials by matching specific types of questions to the best available sources, regardless of format. Information on more than 300 sources has been updated to provide you high quality information, including the information needed to work with newly digitized government documents. Many of these new sources focus on innovative Reference 2.0 tools like Google Books, Twitter, and Second Life.

Designed to complement every introductory library reference course, it's the perfect text for students and librarians looking to expand their personal reference knowledge. Chapters on fundamental concepts, major reference sources and special topics in reference provide the basics you want with fresh insight you need on new issues in reference services and technology, including website development and maintenance, RSS feeds, social networking, and delivering reference services across multiple platforms. The companion website features new readings for each chapter and information about changes in reference tools described in these pages, as well as important new ones. As we enter a changing climate for all information services professionals, this book provides the tools you need to manage the ebb and flow of changing reference services in the 21st century.
Guided by a national advisory board of educators and practitioners comprised of Marie L. Radford, Anita Ondrusek, Cheryl Knott Malone, and Stephanie Maata, this text expertly keeps up with new technologies and practices while still grounding you in the basics of reference work.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Reviewer:Kathryn L Fowler, MLS(Duquesne University)
Description:This book is intended to be a reference librarian's guide to answering the question, "Where do I begin to make changes or develop any of the areas under my purview?" The book is broken into four major subject headings with 21 chapters, each concluding with an extensive bibliography. This edition covers similar, if not the same, topics as the 2006 edition, with updated references.
Purpose:The authors seek to link their readers to the resources they need to answer the questions they get at the reference desk and within the department.
Audience:This book would benefit future librarians in a reference class as well as librarians transferring between disciplines who are not familiar with resources. It also could provide managers and administrators with ideas for rethinking the "it has always been done this way" tendency at their institutions. Both authors have the background and experience to provide with authority an insider's view of the reference department.
Features:Each topic is covered in a few pages. Among the topics are locating the best sources for collections, developing staff to use the resources and interact with the public, and finding the answer to the question that the patron perhaps did not articulate. Rather than one index, there are two (subject and reference resources), which makes searching through the book much easier. All of the black-and-white screenshots are clear and include attribution.
Assessment:Although the information is relevant, the book only skims each topic. I would have preferred fewer topics covered in more depth, or perhaps the same number of topics in a multiple volume edition. With a larger publication, the needs of the collection, users, management, and librarians could have been covered in more depth, increasing the book's usefulness.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555707408
  • Publisher: ALA Editions
  • Publication date: 5/31/2011
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 289,114
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Introducing reference and information services 3
2 Determining the question : in-person, telephone, and virtual reference interviews 15
3 Finding the answer : basic search techniques 31
4 Answering questions about books, magazines, newspapers, libraries, publishers, and bibliographic networks - bibliographic resources 53
5 Answering questions about anything and everything - encyclopedias 69
6 Answering questions that require handy facts - ready reference sources 93
7 Answering questions about words - dictionaries 111
8 Answering questions about current events and issues - indexes 135
9 Answering questions about health, law, and business - special guidelines and sources 155
10 Answering questions about geography, countries, and travel - atlases, gazetteers, maps, geographic information systems, and travel guides 183
11 Answering questions about the lives of people - biographical information sources 199
12 Answering questions about governments - government information sources 213
13 When and how to use the Internet as a reference tool 233
14 Reader's advisory work 253
15 Reference work with children and young adults 265
16 User instruction in the reference department 273
17 Selecting and evaluating reference materials 289
18 Managing reference departments 303
19 Assessing and improving reference services 315
20 The future of information service 337
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