Reference and Information Services: An Introduction, 5th Ed

ALA Neal-Schuman. Jan. 2023. 536p. ISBN 9780838937334. pap. $74.99. PRO MEDIA
.i>Now in its fifth edition, Cassell (library and information science, Rutgers Univ.; Managing Reference Today) and Hiremath’s (asst. dir. public services, Stonehill Coll.) classic text continues to be a go-to source for all things reference. The authors cover basic reference skills, such as in-person, telephone, and virtual interviews; major reference resources; ready reference; and RUSA guidelines. They list 10 leading bibliographic resources, including standbys such as Literary Marketplace and newer resources such as The Sage Encyclopedia of Trans Studies. Additional topics include the top ready-reference sources, dictionaries and concordances, and databases and indexes. The sections on subject areas are especially helpful and include resources pertaining to law and business, geography, health information, and biographical information. Readers may be intrigued by the section on “Reference as Programming,” which suggests different ways to help users navigate library resources. The book covers a myriad of other important issues in reference, including managing collections and an entire department and using reference 2.0 tools.
VERDICT This wide-ranging and informative book is essential for library schools and valuable for academic libraries and larger public ones. A handy reference tool for citing research and helping users find answers to their reference questions.
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