With the electronic revolution currently transforming the traditional ways libraries are designed and the ways in which information is retrieved, reference librarians often feel overwhelmed and uncertain of their future as information providers. The Roles of Reference Librarians assesses the current state of reference librarianship and anticipates that the quickly-changing trends of today will not diminish the importance of reference librarians tomorrow. As the book illustrates, with up-to-date skills and knowledge reference librarians can reshape reference services to ensure that information remains manageable for all library users.Readers will find the book addresses questions vital to the future of the field, including:
- What trends are reshaping reference services and the roles played by reference librarians?
- What skills are necessary for the reference librarian of the future?
- How can librarian skills be applied in nontraditional settings?
- How many librarians will pursue nontraditional careers?
- Are librarians missing the point on how information options are presented to the public?
- What organizational structures of academic libraries are emerging?
- Can librarians maintain and enhance their value as information specialists?Readers of The Roles of Reference Librarians witness how developing and maintaining community connections can improve nearly every aspect of library service, including staff recruitment and development, collection development, access, funding, and programs. The future roles of libraries and librarians, according to this book, depends on their ability to interact with their communities, develop public relations and marketing savvy, and adapt to the changing information needs of their communities. Readers see how a flexible attitude and approach towards technology, an ability to adjust to the rapid pace of changing technology, strong communications skills, and the capacity to serve a diverse clientele will help them meet the ever-changing challenges in the field.
Table of Contents
- Section I: The Current State of Reference Librarianship and Competencies Required of Reference Librarians
- Reference Librarianship: “It Was the Best of Times, It Was . . . ”
- Thriving in Changing Times: Competencies for Today’s Reference Librarians
- Academic Reference Librarians: Under the Microscope
- The Secret Power of Community Connections
- One Librarian’s Journey Into a Cyberspace Career
- Section II: Trends Affecting the Roles of Reference Librarians and the State of Reference Services
- Trends Affecting the Roles of Reference Librarians
- Future Reference--“Sired by a Hurricane, Damn’d by an Earthquake”
- Re-Thinking Reference--A True Change?
- Rethinking the Eurocentric Library Workplace: A Multi-Faceted Process
- Section III: Future Roles and Responsibilities of Reference Librarians
- Reference Service: A Thing of the Past?
- Future Service Models and the Convergence of Functions: The Reference Librarian as Technician, Author, and Consultant
- The Future Role of Reference Librarians: Will It Change?
- Section IV: A Concluding Look at the Library of Tomorrow
- Toward a Virtual Future
- Reference Notes Included