This book, first published in 1992, examines the reference librarian's role as a connecting link between information seekers and the resources they need. It provides the best approaches to providing resolutions or guidance to the appropriate resources. It analyses librarians’ reference skills, communication abilities, accuracy in responding to specific inquiries, and sensitivity to various groups such as paraprofessionals and non-traditional patrons. This provocative book encourages librarians to go beyond merely providing an answer or resource to helping clients better understand the physical surroundings, the social or educational context, and the ethical, political and economic climate in which the process takes place.
1. Introduction M. Keith Ewing and Robert Hauptman 2. The Librarian as Mediator Arthur W. Hafner and Valerie M. Camarigg 3. The Reference Librarian as Information Intermediary: The Correct Approach Is the One That Today's Client Needs Today Herbert S. White 4. Back to Basics: Recommitment To Patrons' Information Needs Claudette S. Hagle 5. Mediation in Reference Service To Extend Patron Success Jack Alan Hicks 6. Books and Screens, Readers and Reference: Bridging the Video Gap John Swan 7. Electronic Reference Services: Mediation for the 1990s Anita K. Evans 8. Response to Swan and Evans: ‘Problems and Opportunities’ Michael D. Kathman 9. Information and Research Support Services: The Reference Librarian and the Information Paraprofessional Carol Hammond 10. Response to Hammond: ‘Paraprofessionals at the Reference Desk: The End of the Debate’ Larry R. Oberg 11. Breaking Through: Effective Reference Mediation for Non-traditional Public Library Users Sally G. Reed 12. Response To Reed: ‘Unequal But Appropriate Service’ Emmett Davis 13. Mediation and Schemata Theory in Meaningful Learning: The Academic Librarian's Role in the Educational Process Barbara Doyle-Wilch and Marian I. Miller 14. Questions and Answers: The Dialogue Between Composition Teachers and Reference Librarians Sarah R. Marino and Elin K. Jacob 15. The Reference Librarian as Mediator: Predicting Accuracy Scores From User Impressions F.W. Lancaster, Kurt M. Joseph and Cheryl Elzy 16. Mediation in a Shrinking Information Economy Renee Tjoumas 17. Academic Librarians and Mediation in Controversial Scholarly Communication Gordon Moran