Linworth Libraries Unlimited

Reference and Information Services

An Introduction, 5th Edition

by Linda C. Smith and Melissa A. Wong, Editors


Reference and information services are ever-changing. This updated book—a core text that spans the concepts and processes of information work and is chosen by many faculty members and experienced reference librarians as their go-to reference—will help you keep pace with the evolving library science field.

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August 2016

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 880
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Reference and Information Services and Tools/Reference and Information Services
  Reference and Information Services and Tools/General
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Thoroughly updated, this is the essential guide to one of the most fundamental fields in the library profession. It links you—and through you, your patrons—to the significant changes that have occurred in reference and information sciences with emphasis on the growth of digital content.

A user favorite through four previous editions, the fifth edition of this classic text remains an ideal resource for anyone seeking to master the latest nuances in reference and information services. Edited by reference authority Linda C. Smith and Melissa A. Wong, the single-volume work is presented in three parts. Part I focuses primarily on new ideas and methods for providing reference service. Part II shares information on how to evaluate and search on electronic sources and also examines the content, structure, and advantages of various types of print and electronic outlets. Part III explores the future of reference services.

The book has been updated throughout to reflect the impact of fast-changing technology and the resulting changes in user behavior. Discussion of virtual/digital reference is now integrated throughout the services chapters, and the book now includes separate chapters on consortia and cooperation; marketing and promotion of reference services; readers' advisory services; business, health, and legal sources; and primary and archival sources. In addition, you'll find more emphasis on responding to the needs of specific populations, including children and young adults.


  • Provides a comprehensive text edited by two highly regarded experts in reference and academic librarianship, Linda C. Smith and Melissa A. Wong, with chapters written by some of the best minds in the library science field
  • Includes newly updated information that reflects today's realities in reference service with an indication of how reference service may be provided to meet changing patron needs in the future
  • Encompasses the effective use of print sources, free online sources, and fee-based sources
  • Features individual chapters that can be used for in-service staff training or in student course packs
Author Info

Linda C. Smith, professor and associate dean for academic programs in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, teaches courses in information organization and access, reference, and science reference, both face-to-face and online. She is a past president of both the Association for Library and Information Science Education and the Association for Information Science and Technology and is a recipient of the Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award from the Reference and User Services Association for distinguished contribution to reference librarianship.

Melissa A. Wong has been an online instructor for the University of Illinois since 2001, teaching courses in reference, instruction, management, and academic librarianship. Previously, she worked as an academic librarian for 14 years, including 6 years in various positions at the University of Southern California and 8 years as library director at Marymount College Palos Verdes. She earned her master's degree in library science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS Part I Chapter 1: History and Functions of Reference Dave A. Tyckoson Chapter 2: Ethics Emily J. M. Knox Chapter 3: The Reference Interview M. Kathleen Kern and Beth S. Woodard Chapter 4: Instruction Wendy Holliday Chapter 5: Cooperation and Consortia Rick Burke Chapter 6: Models of Reference Services Lili Luo Chapter 7: Management of Reference Services JoAnn Jacoby and M. Kathleen Kern Chapter 8: Evaluation and Assessment of Reference Services Laura Saunders Chapter 9: Training and Continual Learning for Reference Staff Beth S. Woodard Chapter 10: Marketing and Promotion of Reference Services Elisabeth Leonard and Rosalind Tedford Chapter 11: Reference Services for Children and Young Adults Marcia A. Brandt Chapter 12: Reference Services for Diverse Populations Nicole A. Cooke Part II Chapter 13: Selection and Evaluation of Reference Sources Carol A. Singer Chapter 14: Licensing Electronic Sources Rick Burke Chapter 15: Search Strategies for Online Resources Melissa A. Wong Chapter 16: Bibliographic Sources Linda C. Smith Chapter 17: Indexes and Abstracts Linda C. Smith Chapter 18: Sources for Facts and Overviews Melissa A. Wong Chapter 19: Dictionaries Stephanie R. Davis-Kahl Chapter 20: Geographical Sources Jenny Marie Johnson Chapter 21: Biographical and Genealogical Sources Jeanne Holba Puacz Chapter 22: Government Documents Sarah Erekson and Mary Mallory Chapter 23: Sources for Data and Statistics Celina Nichols McDonald Chapter 24: Readers' Advisory Services and Sources Neal Wyatt Chapter 25: Business Sources Celia Ross Chapter 26: Health and Medicine Sources Maura Sostack Chapter 27: Primary and Archival Sources Shelley Sweeney Chapter 28: Legal Sources Paul Healey Part III Chapter 29: Creating the Future of Reference Service Amy VanScoy Index

In the News

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Illinois 150 for 150, 4/11/2018

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