Reference Reborn: Breathing New Life into Public Services Librarianship

Reference Reborn: Breathing New Life into Public Services Librarianship

Reference Reborn: Breathing New Life into Public Services Librarianship

Reference Reborn: Breathing New Life into Public Services Librarianship

Synopsis

More than 30 stellar authors have contributed to these up-to-date essays on public services librarianship, including timely topics such as new service configurations, the impact of e-resources in reference and collection development, and innovative outreach.

• Over 30 contributors, including established experts and the next generation of leaders in reference and public services librarianship

• A subject index guides readers to topics of interest

Excerpt

In 2008, Robert H. Kieft, one of the contributors to this volume, observed, “The service edifice built by reference librarians beginning in the late nineteenth century does not so much threaten to collapse as to be reborn in ways that we are still groping to discern” (Kieft, 2008, 6). As a teacher of reference-related courses since 1977 and the coeditor of a reference textbook since the first edition was published in 1991 (Bopp and Smith, 1991), I have continually sought to discern new trends in reference services and the roles new librarians can play in shaping them and to share those with my own students and readers of the textbook. Editor Diane Zabel and the more than 30 other contributors to Reference Reborn: Breathing New Life into Public Services Librarianship have given readers a timely examination of developments in public services librarianship and an affirmation that this remains a vital and creative part of the profession. This book will be of value not only to beginning librarians looking ahead to the opportunities and challenges that will shape their careers but also to librarians who began their careers at any time since the 1970s. At that time reference services transitioned from a period of certainty regarding roles, resources, and methods to a period of change and challenge, driven in large part by developments in computer and communications technology (Rettig, 2006).

The organization of this volume highlights major themes that should be of interest to anyone concerned with the future of public services librarianship: the current and potential users of our services, new and improved service models, new and revised roles for reference librarians, the role of technology in reference services, reference collection development, staffing in 21st-century libraries, and the education and training of reference librarians.

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