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Reference and Information Services
An Introduction, 7th Edition
by Melissa A. Wong and Laura Saunders, Editors
April 2024, 750pp, 7 x 10
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-8047-6
$120, £93, 105€, A165
Available for purchase 30 days prior to publication.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-8049-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The seventh edition of this well-regarded text offers a comprehensive introduction to reference services and sources framed through a lens of equity and inclusion.

This fully updated and revised seventh edition continues to provide thorough and authoritative information about foundational services, including the reference interview, reader's advisory, and instruction, as well as information sources from dictionaries and encyclopedias to statistics and data sources.

Written as a textbook for LIS students taking reference courses, the seventh edition of Reference and Information Services: An Introduction also serves as a helpful handbook for practitioners to refamiliarize themselves with particular types and formats of sources and to refresh their knowledge on specific service topics.

The first section of the book grounds the rest of the textbook with an overview of the foundations of reference and an introduction to the theories, values, and standards that guide reference service. The second section provides an overview of reference services and techniques for service provision, establishing a foundation of knowledge on reference service and extending ethical and social justice perspectives. The third part offers an overview of the information life cycle and dissemination of information, followed by an in-depth examination of information sources by type as well as by broad subject areas. Finally, the concluding section guides readers through the process of developing and maintaining their own vision of reference practice.

This textbook is essential reading for all pre-service and working librarians, particularly those concerned with ethical and social justice perspectives on reference work.


  • Individually authored chapters by experts in the field provide readers with thorough and authoritative information
  • Activity boxes engage readers and invite them to reflect on what they are learning and practice skills through real-life exercises
  • Conscious integration of critical theory and social justice perspectives offer critical reflection on the standards and practices of the field and encourage readers to consider alternate perspectives
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 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.

Laura Saunders is associate professor at Simmons University School of Library and Information Science, teaching in the areas of reference, instruction, and academic libraries. Prior to earning her PhD, she worked as an academic reference librarian and in circulation at a public library. She earned her master's of library and information science and her PhD at Simmons University.

Library and Information Science Text Series

Covering essential LIS skills and areas of study, Libraries Unlimited Library and Information Science Textbook Series brings you trusted, state-of-the-art resources from top faculty to help prepare and teach a wide variety of LIS courses. Specifically designed for full- and part-time faculty and students, these books are also solid professional resources for LIS practitioners.
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