Category: Information Science

An essential introduction to reference librarianship and information services for students and professionals

9781783302338Facet Publishing have announced the release of the fourth edition of Kay Ann Cassell and Uma Hiremath’s Reference and Information Services, An introduction.

Designed to complement every introductory library reference course, Reference and Information Services, is the perfect text for students and librarians looking to expand their personal reference knowledge, teaching failsafe methods for identifying important materials by matching specific types of questions to the best available sources, regardless of format.

Guided by an advisory board of educators and practitioners, this thoroughly updated text expertly keeps up with new technologies and practices while remaining grounded in the basics of reference work. Chapters on fundamental concepts, major reference sources, and special topics provide a solid foundation; the text also offers fresh insight on core issues, including:

  • ethics, readers’ advisory, information literacy, and other key aspects of reference librarianship
  • selecting and evaluating reference materials, with strategies for keeping up to date
  • assessing and improving reference services
  • guidance on conducting reference interviews with a range of different library users, including children and young adults
  • a new discussion of reference as programming
  • important special reference topics such as Google search, 24/7 reference, and virtual reference
  • delivering reference services across multiple platforms.

The previous edition was described by Collection Building as, “an irreplaceable source that can be recommended as an essential item for any library’s professional collection”, and by the Journal of Electronic Resources in Medical Libraries as, “A tool for library school students, new librarians, the public library reference desk, or anyone needing a general resource about providing information services and recommended tools of the trade.”

Kay Ann Cassell received her BA from Carnegie Mellon University, her MLS from Rutgers University, and her PhD from the International University for Graduate Studies. She has worked in academic libraries and public libraries as a reference librarian and as a library director. Ms. Cassell is a past president of Reference and User Services Association of ALA and is active on ALA and RUSA committees. She is the editor of the journal Collection Building and is the author of numerous articles and books on collection development and reference service. She was formerly the Associate Director of Collections and Services for the Branch Libraries of the New York Public Library where she was in charge of collection development and age-level services for the Branch Libraries. She is now a Lecturer and Director of the MLIS Program in the School of Communication, Information and Library Studies at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

Uma Hiremath is Executive Director at the Ames Free Library, Massachusetts. She was Assistant Director at the Thayer Public Library, Massachusetts; Head of Reference at the West Orange Public Library, New Jersey; and Supervising Librarian at the New York Public Library where she worked for five years. She received her MLS from Pratt Institute, New York, and her PhD in political science at the University of Pittsburgh.

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Why reference librarianship is more important than ever – interview with Kay Ann Cassell and Uma Hiremath

An integral resource for students and working professionals alike, Reference and Information Services: An introduction has served a whole generation of reference librarians. But authors Kay Ann Cassell and Uma Hiremath aren’t resting on their laurels. We spoke to them about the brand new fourth edition, discussing their collaboration and why reference librarianship is more important than ever.

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How would you describe your collaborative process?

Harmonic! When we are beginning a new edition, we talk about the whole book and the changes that we want to make and then we each work on specific chapters. With Kay as an academic and Uma as a practitioner, we have mutually exclusive areas of expertise that makes it easy to segment the research.

Were there any surprises working together this time around?

Nah! After more than a decade of working together, we share an easy rhythm. Our conversations help further ideas, challenge or strengthen assumptions, and clarify doubts.9781783302338

How has virtual reference made things easier and how has it made things harder?

Entire books have been written on this. Suffice to say, the very factors about virtual reference that make things easier tend to make them harder as well. It is easier since the user and librarian can be anywhere and still able to communicate about both the question and the answer.  Anytime/anywhere access to information, at the point of need, is certainly the defining advantage of virtual reference.

Virtual access, however, has an abracadabra quality. The user learns less about the incremental steps to finding an answer provided in face-to-face interactions so that, in effect, for every research question the user starts from scratch. Anytime access also requires the reference librarian’s constant attention to connectivity issues so critical to its success.

What are some suggestions for keeping up to date on reference sources, both as an individual and an institution?

There are many ways to stay up to date, both formal and interpersonal.  Let us count the ways.

  • Habitual reading of professional literature
  • Attending conferences with exhibits by vendors
  • Participating in webinars
  • Routinely discussing information on new resources with colleagues
  • Being alert to feedback from users
  • Joining listervs that discuss reference materials
  • Following pertinent blogs, twitter accounts, newsletters, websites
  • Being an alert member of professional association.

Trustworthy, fact-based reference materials are more important than ever. How would you ethically handle a situation if you discovered that a library user was relying on sources that were questionable?

The use of questionable sources by users is something reference librarians face every day. It is, in fact, what makes reference librarianship so integral to good research! Reference librarians have always combated it by providing considered alternatives. Talking to users about the value of vetted resources and helping them understand the difference in authority and accuracy between a vetted resource and unfiltered Google results or social media discussions, is par for the course.

A more intractable challenge is the viral spread of misinformation in a hyper-networked world. Proactive measures to encourage digital literacy and critical thinking in users, such as those parsed so effectively in the Information Literacy poster available at ALA, is essential.

If you could give today’s LIS students one piece of advice, what would it be?

Kay Ann Cassell: Always be sure the information you use online is accurate and up-to-date.  That means that if it is the first time you are using a site, you must evaluate it.

Uma Hiremath: Reference librarianship is a way of life. You never stop learning and you never stop finding the next best referral for your users.

The fourth edition of Reference and Information Services: An introduction will be published in June by Facet Publishing.

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Disseminating information research worldwide

Helen Carley, Publishing Director, Facet Publishing and Damian Mitchell, Commissioning Editor, Facet Publishing

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At Facet Publishing we endeavour to commission and publish high quality, authoritative content for the information scholar and practitioner worldwide. We are committed to advancing the profession and publishing material that will prepare and inform students and researchers to meet the challenges of the future.

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Cultural Heritage Information: Access and management – Edited by Ian Ruthven and G G Chowdhury

We support scholars and researchers throughout the publishing process ensuring every book we publish is peer reviewed, available through green open access, optimized for discoverability, professionally designed, copyedited and printed at speed. Every title receives a worldwide, bespoke marketing push to maximise impact. Find out more about what we offer below.

Scholarly publications from leading researchers worldwide

For students, academics, early career and next generation researchers, we commission and publish scholarly research in monographs and edited collections from some of the leading scholars in the world. We aim to address the critical information issues of our time by commissioning current active research in established topics and adjacent fields, you can see some of our latest examples here.

Peer review

All of our scholarly titles are peer reviewed by specifically selected scholars and we offer open/single blind/double-blind review depending on the wishes of our authors. For the iResearch series we have a bespoke editorial board.  We also use our editorial advisory team, comprising thought leaders from around the world, in a variety of sectors as a sounding board for our list development ideas.

Open access

We know how important it is for our academics to upload their research to their institutional repository directly after publication in order to share their research/practice as widely as possible. In order to facilitate this, we have a green open access policy  that supports an author’s right to voluntarily self-archive their work without embargo or payment. We are open and flexible with our authors and invite discussion of our policies.

Discoverability

We are committed to increasing the discoverability of our authors’ content. The full text of all our books is discoverable through Google scholar and library discovery services. We aid discovery by individually indexing our book chapters with DOIs, adding carefully selected keywords and expertly chosen book trade subject codes.  Our books are available in print and digitally throughout the world.

Impact

We are expert, agile marketers and ensure our titles are offered for review in leading relevant journals around the world. In addition, we target scholarly communities through social media to ensure that scholars from Mumbai to Jakarta and from Syracuse to Durban are aware of new content relevant to them. We select the most appropriate conferences and seminars and ensure that our authors’ content is represented to its target readership.

Care and quality

We pride ourselves on our attention to detail. As a small team we can be highly flexible and responsive. We are able to give our authors the care and attention they require from inception through to post publication. We work closely with our writers to develop their proposals, nurture them through the writing process and offer them the best editorial and production support that we can. We are quick to market, dynamic, and possess many years of combined experience across academic and professional publishing.

Talk to us

If you’d like to know more about how we can work with you and help get your original research published and brilliantly marketed in a rapid time frame, talk to Damian or Helen or come and chat with us at the iConference in Sheffield.

Helen Carley is Publishing Director at Facet Publishing and can be reached on helen.carley@facetpublishing.co.uk

Damian Mitchell is Commissioning Editor at Facet Publishing and can be reached on damian.mitchell@facetpublishing.co.uk

In this post-truth world, can we still rely on archives to tell the truth?

Facet Publishing have announced the release of The Silence of the Archive by David Thomas, Simon Fowler and Valerie Johnson

 In recent years big data initiatives, not to mention Hollywood, the video game industry and countless other popular media, have reinforced and even glamorized the public image of the archive as the ultimate repository of facts and the hope of future generations for uncovering ‘what actually happened’. Chambers Cat 2.02.qxdThe reality is, however, that for all sorts of reasons the record may not have been preserved or survived in the archive. In fact, the record may never have even existed – its creation being as imagined as is its contents. And even if it does exist, it may be silent on the salient facts, or it may obfuscate, mislead or flat out lie.

The Silence of the Archive, written by three expert and knowledgeable archivists, with a foreword by Anne J. Gilliland, draws attention to the many limitations of archives and the inevitability of their having parameters.

Co-author David Thomas said,

In The Silence of the Archive, we explore the question of whether archives are all that they seem. Are there silences, omissions and falsehoods which undermine their truth claims? Are their holdings, as some of us were taught, the unselfconscious products of administrative processes, or are they the products of powers relations? Is there a democratic deficit in archives?

The book, part of the Principles and Practice in Records Management and Archives series, will make compelling reading for professional archivists, records managers and records creators, postgraduate and undergraduate students of history, archives, librarianship and information studies, as well as academics and other users of archives.

About the authors:

David Thomas is a Visiting Professor at the University of Northumbria. Previously, he worked at The National Archives where he was Director of Technology and was responsible for digital preservation and for providing access to digital material.

Simon Fowler is an Associate Teaching Fellow at the University of Dundee where he teaches a course on military archives. Previously he worked at The National Archives for nearly thirty years.

Dr Valerie Johnson is Director of Research and Collections at The National Archives. She has worked as an archivist and a historian in the academic, corporate and public sectors.

Contributors:

Anne J Gilliland is Professor, Department of Information Studies, Director, Center for Information as Evidence, University of California, USA.

​The series editor: Geoffrey Yeo is honorary researcher in archives and records management at University College London (UCL), London.

About the book:

The Silence of the Archive | May 2017 | 224pp
Paperback: 9781783301553 | Hardback: 9781783301560 | eBook: 9781783301577

What is information science?

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Tomorrow sees the start of the iConference 2017 in Wuhan, China. To mark this, we are making some selected chapters from our information science textbooks freely available to view and download from the Facet Publishing website. The first is taken from David Bawden and Lyn Robinson’s seminal Introduction to Information Science.

The chapter, What is information science? Disciplines and professions, covers:

  • The nature of information science
  • What kind of discipline is information science?
  • Constituents and core9781856048101
  • Other information disciplines
  • The uniqueness of information science
  • History of information science.

You can view or download the chapter here.

Introduction to Information Science has been described as “the best introduction to information science available at present” (Birger Hjorland, Royal School of Library and Information Science) and “one of the very best places for people to start to make a difference.” (Jonathan Furner, UCLA).

More information about the book and the sample chapter are available on the Facet website.

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