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.
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?
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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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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 email@example.com
Damian Mitchell is Commissioning Editor at Facet Publishing and can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org
Today Marcia Lei Zeng and Jian Qin are presenting a paper at iConference 2017 in Wuhan, China. We have made a sample chapter from their co-authored book, Metadata, freely available to view and download from the Facet website.
The chapter provides a context for metadata uses in our life and work and a brief history of the metadata movement. It reviews fundamental concepts, including metadata types, categories of metadata standards, and metadata principles. Finally, it presents additional examples of metadata descriptions.
The second edition of Zeng & Qin’s Metadata provides a solid grounding in the variety and interrelationships among different metadata types, offers a comprehensive look at the metadata schemas that exist in the world of library and information science and beyond, as well as the contexts in which they operate.
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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 core
- Other information disciplines
- The uniqueness of information science
- History of information science.
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).
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Preserving our Heritage: Perspectives from antiquity to the digital age by Michele V Cloonan is the recipient of the 2016 Society of American Archivists’ Preservation Publication Award.
The book offers a unique compilation of key texts from a range of international contributors, charting the development of preservation from its origins to modern day practice and offers an overview of longevity, reversibility, enduring value and authenticity of information preservation.
The Awards Committee said “Preserving Our Heritage is undeniably a monumental achievement and a welcome contribution to the bookshelves of preservation professionals everywhere”.
Established in 1993, the SAA Preservation Publication Award recognises and acknowledges the author or editor of an outstanding published work related to archives preservation and, through this acknowledgement, encourages outstanding achievement by others.
Guest post by Jane Secker
The second edition of the 2010 book Copyright and E-learning: A guide for practitioners is now available. The book covers the topic that has fascinated me for over a decade and been central to the job I do at LSE: copyright law and its relationship to e-learning or online learning.
This edition of the book benefits from being co-authored by Chris Morrison, who is Copyright Compliance and Licensing Officer at the University of Kent. Chris has not only helped me to improve and update the book, but made the research and writing process more enjoyable. When I first approached Chris to help update the book, I thought that his
unbounded pedantry forensic attention to detail and wealth of knowledge about broader copyright issues might make him a useful proof-reader. I had done a first run through of the book to identify some key areas I wanted to update in light of the Hargreaves Review in 2014 and the new copyright exceptions in UK law. However, overall I felt much of the first edition might remain the same, perhaps with a few changes to take into account new terminology. It quickly became apparent once we started reviewing the content and discussing the book, that we had the opportunity to significantly update it, and make it a far better book. It was also clear I had more than a proof-reader but a co-author. As with any book about technology, 5 years is a long time, and technological developments made much of the contents of some chapters in need of real updating. For example, the term web 2.0 used throughout the first edition, really started to sound very dated.
Much of the intentions behind the first edition remain however. The book is designed to be read by practitioners and so it tries to offer pragmatic advice on a range of topics issues from digitising orphan works, to lecture recordings, the use of social media and MOOCs. We tried to write the book in a jargon-free easily digestible way, to hopefully make it a practical guide for learning technologists, but also teachers, lecturers and other learning support staff in higher education, schools, further education and even in a workplace learning setting, where online learning is used extensively.
Find out more about the book here or read Jane and Chris’ post on the CILIP blog where they provide six practical tips that are important to helping you approach any copyright issue.
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