The Reference Collection: From the Shelf to the Web / Edition 1

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Stay up-to-date with the growing amount of reference resources available online

How important is the World Wide Web to information retrieval and communication? Important enough that information professionals have seen students exit from their libraries en masse when Internet service was lost. Internet providers dominate the indexing and abstracting of periodical articles as major publishers now offer nearly all of their reference titles in digital form. Libraries spend increasing amounts of funding on electronic reference materials, and librarians devote an increasing amount of time to assisting in their use. The Reference Collection: From the Shelf to the Web is an essential guide to collection development for electronic materials in academic and public libraries.

The Reference Collection: From the Shelf to the Web tracks the continuing evolution of electronic reference resources-and how they’re accessed—in a variety of settings. Librarians representing university, elementary school, and public libraries in the United States and Australia examine how reference collections have evolved over time (and may soon be a thing of the past); how public and school libraries have dealt with the changes; why library research assignments have become more difficult for teachers to make and for students to complete; how to organize online reference sources; and why the nature of plagiarism has changed in the electronic era. The book also examines the use of electronic references from a publisher’s perspective and looks at the most important Web-accessible reference tools—both free and subscription—in the areas of humanities, medicine, the social sciences, business, and education.

The Reference Collection: From the Shelf to the Web also examines:

  • issues of authority, accessibility, cost, comfort, and user education in evaluating electronic resources
  • the formation of purchasing consortia to facilitate the transfer of reference materials from print to online formats
  • current literature and research findings on the state of digital versus print reference collections
  • what electronic publishing means to smaller reference books (dictionaries, almanacs, etc.)
  • the need for increased information literacy among students
  • the nature, extent, and causes of cyber plagiarism
  • the use of federated search tools
  • and includes a selected list of the top 100 free Internet reference sites
The Reference Collection: From the Shelf to the Web is an essential resource for all reference and collection development librarians, and an invaluable aid for publishing professionals.
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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Barbara B. Adams, MLS (Duquesne University)
Description: Co-published simultaneously as The Reference Librarian, Numbers 91/92, 2005, this collection of articles on the editor's broadly stated theme of "the migration of reference materials in print to an electronic format accessible on the World Wide Web" contributes to the abundantly available information on this theme by emphasizing the migration process.
Purpose: The book gathers into a single, manageable volume the perspectives of experienced librarians from all kinds of libraries.
Audience: Representative articles by peers and counterparts from the U.S. and elsewhere invite the attention of school, public, academic, and special librarians, and could be a helpful overview for students preparing to work in the field. The editor's background in reference, library Web/electronic resources management, and instructional technology qualifies him to provide focus for this wide panorama.
Features: The book is studded with titles and descriptions of specific electronic resources. While some articles are devoted to a specific subject area or type of library as might be expected, the collection is more than a series of title lists. The opening article, for example, sweepingly traces the history of reference collections from their roots in ancient libraries, points out the difficulty of defining a reference work in current electronic environments, and speculates about the future of reference service and reference librarians. Paired, complementary articles on library-created ready reference Web sites and federated search tools or library assignments in an electronic age and cyberplagiarism provoke additional thinking about electronic resource organization and current instructional issues respectively.
Assessment: Overall, selectivity prevails within the articles themselves, but many references to sources of more comprehensive listings of electronic resources in a given field are included for those who need them. The index would be more useful if it did not omit so many of the Web resources named in the text. Depending on the reader's own areas of expertise, parts of the book may seem obvious, but as a whole, it is a useful overview offering many starting points for further exploration.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

  • Introduction (William J. Frost)
  • Getting it Right—The Evolution of Reference Collections (Margaret Landesman)
  • Out of the Stack and into the Net: International Perspectives on Academic Reference Resources (Gaynor Austen and Carolyn Young)
  • Electronic vs. Print Reference Sources in Public Library Collections (Jeanne Holba Puacz)
  • Digital versus Print: The Current State of Reference Affairs in School Libraries (D. Jackson Maxwell)
  • Reference Publishing in the Age of Also (John M. Morse)
  • From the Womb to the Web: Library Assignments and the New Generation (Necia Parker-Gibson)
  • Cyberplagiarism and the Library: Issues and Solutions (Jennifer Sharkey and F. Bartow Culp)
  • Structures and Choices for Ready Reference Web Sites (Steven W. Sowards)
  • Federated Search Tools: The Next Step in the Quest for One-Stop-Shopping (Steve C. Boss and Michael L. Nelson)
  • Internet Reference Sources in the Humanities (Dennis Dillon)
  • Science Reference on the Internet (Lori Bronars)
  • Medical Reference Sources on the Internet: An Evolving Information Forum and Marketplace (Gary A. McMillan)
  • Web-Based Reference Resources for the Social Sciences (Brian Quinn)
  • Briefcases and Databases: Web-Based Reference Sources for Business Librarians and Their Client Communities (Gail M. Golderman and Bruce Connolly)
  • Internet Reference Sources in Education (Linda C. Weber)
  • 100 Best Free Internet Web Sites: A Selected List (Lori Morse)
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included
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