Reference & User Services Quarterly

Articles from Vol. 48, No. 1, Fall

A Select Survey of Criminal Justice Administration and Criminology Resources for Research, Reference, and Collection Development
This column illustrates the best of outcomes when colleagues assist one another in developing subject expertise and in building collections. As all of us in the collection development world know, crafting well-developed collections in subject-specific...
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Best Free Reference Websites: Tenth Annual List
Welcome to the tenth annual "Best Free Reference Websites List." In 1998, the Machine-Assisted Reference Section (MARS) of RUSA appointed an ad hoc task force to develop a method of recognizing outstanding reference websites. The task force became...
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Best Historical Materials
Welcome to "Best Historical Materials," the annual review of outstanding English-language resources in the field of history, as selected by members of the Historical Materials Committee, RUSA History Section. The Committee's new name and charge reflect...
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Don't Shelve the Questions: Defining Good Customer Service for Shelvers
Many library customers' questions never reach designated service points such as circulation and reference desks. These questions may be addressed to personnel untrained in customer service such as student shelving staff in an academic library. This...
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Preference for Reference: New Options and Choices for Academic Library Users
This exploratory study investigated the help-seeking preferences of library users at two large urban universities in Toronto. Reference desk and virtual reference users were compared in terms of their perceptions of the options now available for obtaining...
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Reference Desk Dilemmas: The Impact of New Demands on Librarianship
This guest-authored column, from the perspective of a student who is new to the profession, focuses on stress factors related to reference librarianship and includes suggestions for managing the demands of new technologies, the growing expectations...
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Reference Desk Staffing Trends: A Survey
Because of the current changes in reference desk activity--e.g., a decreased number of questions being asked at the reference desk and a focus on electronic resources along with the Internet--it is reasonable to consider whether reference desk staffing,...
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Reviving Literary Discussion: Book Club to Go Kits
Over the past decade, participation in book discussion groups has blossomed. Libraries have experienced a similar growth in expectations from book club members about the services and resources that can be supplied. Working with book groups gives the...
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Subject Searching Success: Transaction Logs, Patron Perceptions, and Implications for Library Instruction
Subject searching in the OPAC is the most problematic of all search types, causing far greater difficulty for patrons than keyword searching and known-item searching. This study combines two methodologies--transaction log analysis and user observation...
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The Ambidextrous Librarian, or "You Can Teach a Middle-Aged Dog Some New Tricks!"
Sometimes a great reference librarian's performance begins to fall below expectations. Although the job of reference librarian is one of the best, burnout does happen. What do you do as head of reference when a good reference librarian runs smack into...
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The Return of the Guide to Reference (Books)
If you are a librarian of my generation, you probably fondly refer to the Guide to Reference Books as "Sheehy." Younger librarians most likely refer to it as "Balay." When Robert H. Kieft assumed the daunting role of general editor of the new edition...
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Using Continuous Quality Improvement Methods to Evaluate Library Service Points
This article describes a multiple-methods approach to examining and enhancing the quality of walk-in service points at a major university library. Selected methods included focus groups, benchmarking, surveys, transaction analysis, activity mapping,...
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Welcome to the Table
It is the beginning of April as I write this and I am in the middle of making committee appointments--matching people who want to serve with open committee slots-and trying to balance the needs of an active membership with the limited spaces I have...
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