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Reference and Information Services: An Introduction
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Reference and Information Services: An Introduction

3.16  ·  Rating Details ·  349 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Reflecting the dramatic changes shaped by rapidly developing technologies over the past six years, this new fourth edition of "Reference and Information Services" takes the introduction to reference sources and services significantly beyond the content of the first three editions. In Part I, Concepts and Processes, chapters have been revised and updated to reflect new idea ...more
Paperback, 742 pages
Published May 23rd 2011 by Libraries Unlimited (first published 1991)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jul 27, 2011 Marta rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Can this book get any duller or drier? It's printed Ambien, guaranteed to put you to sleep. Perhaps a lively update would help, but I highly doubt it.
Good solid reference work on Reference! If you get your MLIS, you will be assigned this book. Lays it all out on the line in clear, precise prose.
Decent in some places, but overall it waszzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..................
Nov 17, 2016 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read most of this in library school. Recently found it again. Had one chapter left and in a fit of OCD-induced completionism, felt the need to finish it. I regret that. This is a textbook. Comprehensive but dry. Factual. Uninteresting. Even moreso since its for librarians. Also, much of the information seems outdated, even for 2011.
Nov 14, 2016 Lisa rated it did not like it
This book is why I hate reading text books, I seriously had to reward myself for making it through like 4 pages at a time and not falling asleep or letting my mind wander! Good luck if you are assigned this book.
Sep 17, 2009 Michael rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: MLIS profs, reference librarians
Recommended to Michael by: Aleteia Greenwood
I didn't much enjoy my Reference course, but I will admit that the textbook had some merits - moreso than most books written in the field of Library and Information Science, in fact. It's not exactly a fun read, and it does get repetitive at times, but it also is - drumroll please - a great reference work. Although the resources listed are a little out of date (and many things that weren't digital and easily searched when it was printed are now), it gives details on a surprisingly wide-range of ...more
I will retain this book as a reference. A reference book about reference; I never would have expected that. However, it will have it's uses from time to time. As a more thorough (and expensive) reference, I would recommend the Taylor & Francis Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences, Third Edition.

Until further notice, I'm reading this book, and a whole lot of library & information science journal articles. Grad school can be fun, but pleasure reading is on hold. :( Update: This
Apr 10, 2013 Benjamin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libraries
The second part of the book describes different kinds of reference resources and how best to use them; for example, there is a chapter on dictionaries, a chapter on almanacs, etc. I thought that was going to be dry as sand... reading about dictionaries?! Turns out, that was may favorite part. The first half of the book is about reference service, history, ethics, the reference interview, instruction and of course search strategies plus other topics. I expected that to be enlightening and it was. ...more
Tayler K
Jan 15, 2016 Tayler K rated it it was ok
Shelves: school, own, textbooks
LIS 621
Assigned: 1,058 pages
Textbook: 565 pages (total book without the additional materials)
Articles: 456 pages
Lectures: 37 pages

Read: 674 pages
Textbook: 367 pages (Ch 1, 3-8, 10, 11, 13-15, 17, 19-21)
Articles: 234 pages
Lectures: 37 pages

LIS 630
No textbook
Assigned: 532 pages
Required Articles: 154
Optional Articles: 155
Lectures: 223 pages

Read: 416 pages
Required Articles: 154
Optional Articles: 39
Lectures: 223 pages
Feb 20, 2013 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A required text for LS 500, a Reference and Information class. While it had some useful information, such as the Reference Interview, most of this was confined to the pop-out boxes interspersed throughout the chapters. Some of the information is dated though it is a fairly new (2011) book. Reference Services are quickly taking a leap into the 21st century, but this text focused heavily on print information and reference.
Dec 31, 2014 Lara rated it it was ok
While there is some useful information here, for the most part this is a boring, dry, and, at times, out-dated textbook. Much of the information is also self-evident, such as the fact that encyclopedias are a reference source. No kidding. I read this for a class on reference services; as much as I enjoyed the class itself, I do wish this textbook were at least somewhat engaging. Dry, dry, dry.
Tommy /|\
Dec 27, 2013 Tommy /|\ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Precisely what the text says it is...its an Introduction to Reference and Information Services in a library setting. The material is not all-inclusive, nor should it be. With information services and technologies constantly changing - and user needs and requests methods constantly changing, mutating and evolving - this will never be a be-all, end-all text. But its an excellent starting point.
May 19, 2015 Rae rated it liked it
This book covers library reference work in extensive detail. I appreciate this introduction to the field and am generally glad I read it. It is dry textbook reading, however, and has little to offer in way of style. It tends toward the abstract, rather than providing a how-to for reference service.
Amy Adams
Dec 12, 2013 Amy Adams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
I read the fourth edition. I thought it gave a nice overview of the LIS profession, and it is excellent for someone who's just getting started in the field. I used this in two of my first LIS courses, and I've referred back to it several times. Of particular interest is the Tyckoson article in the very beginning and the articles about reference source types at the end.
Anna Janelle
A VERY thorough description of tools (indexes, bibliographies, encyclopedias) to be used as a Reference Librarian. The chapters were lengthy and full of detail. I'll be keeping this one on my shelf as I'm pretty sure I've only retained 5% of what this book had to offer - and I've retained a lot. There was just TOO much. So it's a keeper :)
Finished! ...well, as finished as I'm ever going to be. Covers the scope of the field of library science, specifically the topics of (surprise, surprise!) reference and information. This is definitely a great resource for library school, but other than that I can't imagine a single person outside that demographic ever deliberately cracking these covers. Fin.
Aug 06, 2014 Alice rated it really liked it
I give this four stars for a textbook. It provides some good information on where to find sources within each category and gives an overview of reference. It's a good resource for aspiring librarians.
Jun 15, 2016 Cheney rated it really liked it
I want to give this less stars just because it's quite boring, however, this book is an excellent reference tool that teaches you all about references and how to be a successful reference librarian as well as conduct successful reference interviews with patrons.
Jun 20, 2014 Hannah rated it liked it
Shelves: american, non-fiction
Informative and detailed. I loved the class that I read this book for, and though I can't own up to having read every page or even every chapter, the parts that I had assigned were a useful resource for learning about reference services.
Connie Harrison
This text serves as a library reference source more than it does as a learning text. No level of knowledge is required of the reader and so no content is assumed which makes for painstakingly and irrepressibly lengthy ready.
Really pleased with this book on the whole. The text is a little dry, but with this edition only two years old, the resources were fairly up to date and helpful. That's the real reason for this book; the compilation of reference sources was quite valuable.
Pretty dry textbook with some obvious points over-explained. But the section on reference interview is thorough and helpful. Overall, clearly written.
Totally dry read but it gets the job done. Does seem a bit out of date though (at least mine was 2001).
It's outdated... 10 years old in a field that has been heavily changed by the Internet. And a bit redundant as a the 2nd textbook I have to read on an identical subject.
Jan 14, 2015 Miranda rated it liked it
For someone who has never worked in the library field, this would be useful information. For those of us who have lived and breathed this, it is a useful reference, but not much new.
Aug 02, 2012 Kim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Bit outdated with frequent mention of CD-ROM's. Portions about evaluation of resources useful though.
I registered a book at!
Natalie Wenzke
Natalie Wenzke rated it liked it
Jan 29, 2015
viktoria rated it liked it
Mar 11, 2014
Erin rated it liked it
Sep 27, 2012
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