This book, first published in 1991, explores the changing roles of reference services and offers advice and practical ideas to guide librarians through the increasingly tangled maze of duties being thrust upon the reference staff. Although the everyday work of the reference librarian is often taken for granted, these insightful chapters illuminate the essential service performed by the reference librarians as they facilitate access to information for a wide variety of users. Furthermore, this book helps reference librarians face the future by examining the technological and service developments that will challenge their profession.
It addresses unique reference problems such as making use of the telephone as an information gathering tool, selecting reference material for the interdisciplinary field of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER), and helping non-law students with legal research. Topics related to information systems are examined such as the limitations of end-user online services, and an evaluation of the Library of Congress Information system. Authoritative contributors make recommendations on how to design services to coordinate with the new technology and how to change librarians’ roles so they can assist people in using these systems.
Table of Contents
1. Prologue: Ode to the Reference Librarian Norman D. Stevens Part 1. Reference Librarians at Work 2. Joy Is Bustin' Out All Over James Rettig 3. The Fragile Allure of Reference Paul Frantz 4. Reference Collegiality: One Library's Experience Polly Frank, Lee-Allison Levene and Kathy Piehl 5. Technology and Service: Reference Librarians Have a Place in the '90s Mabel W. Shaw 6. A Look Back at Twenty-Five Years Behind the Desk Constance A. Fairchild 7. Librarians and Book Publication: Overcoming Barriers Mary M. Nofsinger and Eileen E. Brady Part 2. Tools of the Profession 8. Ranking the Reference Books: Methodologies for Identifying ‘Key’ Reference Sources Richard L. Hopkins 9. Making the Connection: The Telephone as a Creative and Potent - but Underutilized - Instrument for Reference Service Ken Kister 10. The Evolution of Early Visions: An Historical Perspective on Today's Information Technology James Rice 11. The Library of Congress Remote Online Library User Pilot Project: The California State Library Experience Kathleen Low 12. HPER for Help: Selection and Reference Tools for a New Field Elaine Fox Clever and David P. Dillard 13. Legal Research Works for Non-Law Students Bill Bailey 14. Scholarly Communication, Peer Review, and Reference Librarian Ethics: A Case Study of the Lexicon of the Middle Ages Gordon Moran Part 3. The Public Served 15. The International Ideology of Library and Information Science: The Past Three Decades Stephen Karetzky 16. Strengthening the Foundation for Information Literacy in an Academic Library Laura A. Sullivan and Nancy F. Campbell 17. Community Cooperation in Reference Service via a Librarians' Liaison Committee Margaret Hendley 18. Volunteers and Reference Services With a Special Collection Anne F. Roberts Part 4. Points of Debate 19. Male Reference Librarians and the Gender Factor Ronald Beaudrie and Robert Grunfeld