Managing Reference Today

New Models and Best Practices

By (author) Kay Ann Cassell

Publication date:

31 January 2017

Length of book:

172 pages

Publisher

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN-13: 9781538101674

Reference collections and services have changed considerably in the last three decades. We have moved from all services coming from the reference desk to a more fluid environment where users can be served in person, by phone, email, virtual reference/chat, instant messaging, texting, skyping, etc.

Collections have changed too– from print collections, microfilm, microfiche and microcards to e-resources and e-books plus e-research collections in institutional archives.

Although we see many libraries still providing traditional services, others have begun to move away from this model and try to develop and offer services and collections which will better serve their user population. With technology changing so fast, users expect to communicate with the library in whatever way they choose. They also want to obtain information with little effort on their part.

Managing Reference Today: New Models and Practices

• highlights newly developed service models that libraries are developing as well as the way they are handling changing reference collections.
• describes new ways of providing reference services and new ideas of how to select and manage reference collections.
• Identifies the best practices for meeting the needs of current and future library users in academic, special, and public library settings.
This book discusses some alternatives for library administrators and reference staff to consider while figuring out how to best allocate limited resources to achieve the most effective service for their patrons. Here Dr. Cassell, Department of Library and Information Science at Rutgers University, has chapters on the education and training of reference librarians, new ways of offering reference services and utilizing staff, and how the very nature of reference sources influences library operations. She emphasizes the human aspect of the whole issue: how electronic resources can require more individual help, that librarians are mediators and information providers, how we need good communication skills, and the importance of building relationships, collaboration, and partnerships, both within and outside of the institution.... The author provides chapter endnotes to document her sources and helpful charts to summarize the important points of big issues. This very-reasonably-priced book is easy to read and understand and is suitable for circulating collections, for reference classes in library school, and for practitioners wanting to catch up on current thinking.