Reference and Information Services: An Introduction

Libraries Unlimited. 6th ed. ed. Apr. 2020. 648p. ed. by Melissa A. Wong & Laura Saunders. ISBN 9781440868832. $90. PRO MEDIA
While intended as a textbook for reference service students, this updated work from Wong (online instructor, Univ. of Illinois) and Saunders (Simmons Univ. Sch. of Library &Information Science) is useful reading for all librarians and a brilliant update on previous editions. Part 1, “Concepts and Processes,” contains valuable information for library leadership on training and professional development, marketing and promotion, and evaluation and assessment. Some chapters are targeted more specifically toward reference services, including the reference interview, instructional strategies, ethics, and reference services for special groups such as children and young adults. Those involved in collection development should refer to Part 2, “Information Sources and Their Use.” The chapters on selection and evaluation of reference sources and the licensing and management of electronic resources are incredibly thorough, and the principles apply to all information resources. Part 2 also provides a succinct overview of different types of resources, such as government information, data and statistical sources, geographical sources, and primary and archival sources, and readers’ advisory sources. Each chapter closes with references and an extensive list of sources.
VERDICT Essential reading for all librarians, particularly those with a concentration in reference and bibliographic instruction.

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