Communicating Professionally, Third Edition: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the Authors

This book is available in e-book format for libraries and individuals through aggregators and other distributors—ask your current vendor or contact us for more information. Examination copies are available for instructors who are interested in adopting this title for course use.

An updated and expanded version of the training guide Booklist called "one of the most valuable professional publications to come off the presses in a long time," the new third edition of Communicating Professionally is completely revised with new sections outlining the opportunities offered by contemporary communication media. With more resource information on cross-cultural communication, including new applications of communication principles and the latest research-based material on communication in general, this comprehensive manual covers

  • Fundamental skills such as listening, speaking, and writing
  • Reading others' nonverbal behavior
  • How to integrate skills, with tips for practicing
  • Sense-making, a theory of information as communication
  • Common interactions like speaking one-on-one, working in groups, and giving presentations
  • Training others in communication skills, including a special section on technology-based training
1. Nonverbal Behavior
1.1. Introduction to Nonverbal Behavior
1.2. Eye Contact
1.3. Smiling and Nodding
1.4. Pausing
1.5. Posture
1.6. Physical Appearance
1.7. Personal Space
1.8. Vocal Qualities
1.9. Annotated References
2. Listening  
2.1. Goals of Effective Listening
2.2. Active Listening
2.3. Barriers to Listening
2.4. Improving Listening Skills
2.5. Annotated References
3. Skills: Speaking
3.1. Introduction to Speaking Skills 
3.2. Acknowledgment
3.3. Minimal Encouragers
3.4. Open Questions versus Closed Questions
3.5. Avoiding Premature Diagnosis
3.6. Sense-Making Questions
3.7. Follow-Up Questions
3.8. Reflecting Content
3.9. Reflecting Feeling
3.10. Inclusion
3.11. Closure
3.12. Giving Instructions and Directions 
3.13. Confrontation
3.14. Giving Feedback
3.15. Receiving Feedback
3.16. Offering Opinions and Suggestions
3.17. Annotated References
4. Skills: Writing
4.1. Analyzing the Audience
4.2. Choosing an Appropriate Style 
4.3. Writing with Impact
4.4. Writing Clearly and Briefly
4.5. Organizing
4.6. Using Inclusive and Nondiscriminatory Language
4.7. Checking Spelling
4.8. Avoiding Common Grammatical Errors
4.9. Using Tables, Charts, and Graphs 
4.10. Formatting the Page
4.11. Writing Digitally
4.12. Editing Your Work
4.13. Postscript: Keeping Your Reader in Mind
4.14. Annotated References
5. Integration: Putting It All Together
5.1. How to Use This Chapter
5.2. Theory and Paradigms
5.3. Sense-Making: A Theory of Information as Communication 
5.4. Microcounseling and Microtraining
5.5. Intentionality
5.6. The Problem of Manipulation versus Genuineness
5.7. Tips for Practicing

5.7.1. Practicing Verbal Skills


5.7.2. Practicing Writing Skills


5.8. Skill Integration
5.9. Annotated Readings
6. Applications: Speaking One-to-One  
6.1. Introduction to Speaking One-to-One
6.1.1. Communicating Face-to-Face: The First 60 seconds
6.2. Using the Telephone and Voicemail
6.2.1. Answering the Telephone
6.2.2. Voicemail
6.3. Interviewing
6.3.1. What Is an Interview?
6.3.2. Dimensions of the Interview
6.3.3. All-Purpose Interviewing Skills
6.4. Reference Interviews
6.4.1. The Generic Reference Interview
6.4.2. The Secondhand Reference Interview and the Imposed Query
6.4.3. The Research Reference Interview
6.4.4. The Telephone Reference Interview
6.4.5. The Virtual Reference Interview
6.4.6. The Readers' Advisory Interview
6.4.7. Integrating Reference Interview Skills
6.5. The Employment Interview
6.5.1. Conducting the interview
6.5.2. Being Interviewed
6.6. Coping with Special Situations
6.6.1. Helping People with Disabilities
6.6.2. Language and Speech Barriers
6.6.3. Cross-Cultural Communication
6.6.4. Handling Complaints
6.7. Problematic Behavior
6.7.1. Disruptive and Inappropriate Behavior
6.7.2. Unlawful and Dangerous Behavior
6.8. Annotated Readings
7. Applications: Working in Groups
7.1. Why Work in Groups?
7.2. Characteristics of Groups
7.3. Patterns of Communication
7.4. Group Dynamics
7.4.1. Task Functions
7.4.2. Maintenance Functions
7.4.3. Group Leadership
7.4.4. Being a Good Group Participant
7.5. Group Work in Libraries: Five Types of Face-to-Face Communication
7.5.1. The Book Discussion
7.5.2. The Problem-Solving Discussion
7.5.3. The Focus Group
7.5.4. The Formal Meeting
7.5.5. Self-Directed Work Teams
7.6. Virtual Groups 
7.6.1. Virtual Teams
7.6.2. Virtual Conferencing
7.6.3. Virtual Discussion Sites
7.7. When Your Group Has Problems
7.7.1. Self-Oriented Functions
7.7.2. How to Handle Problem Behavior
7.8. Annotated Readings
8. Making Presentations
8.1. General Considerations
8.2. Arranging for Other People to Speak
8.2.1. Introducing a Speaker
8.2.2. Thanking a Speaker
8.2.3. Chairing a Panel
8.3. Making a Presentation Yourself 
8.3.1. Knowing Your Purpose 
8.3.2. Analyzing the Audience 
8.3.3. Finding a Topic
8.3.4. Developing the Topic
8.3.5. Choosing an Appropriate Arrangement
8.3.6. Using Audiovisual Aids and Presentation Software 
8.3.7. Delivery
8.3.8. Overcoming Stage Fright 
8.3.9. Public Speaking: A Checklist
8.4. Making Longer Presentations at Workshops and Conference Sessions 
8.4.1. Requirements of Longer Presentations
8.4.2. Designing the Presentation 
8.4.3. Getting the Audience Involved
8.4.4. Answering Questions from the Audience
8.4.5. Evaluating the Presentation
8.5. Some Specialized Forms of Presentation
8.5.1. Poster Presentations
8.5.2. Booktalking
8.5.3. Leading Tours
8.6. Providing Library Use and Information Literacy Instruction
8.6.1. Attending and Influencing Skills for Instruction
8.6.2. Questioning Skills for Instruction
8.6.3. Group Skills for Instruction
8.7. The Media Interview
8.8. Annotated Readings
9. Applications: Writing  
9.1. When to Write and When Not to Write
9.2. Internal Communication versus External Communication 
9.3. Messages  
9.3.1. E-mail
9.3.2. Instant Messaging and Online Chat
9.3.3. Text Messaging
9.3.4. Facebook
9.3.5.Virtual Discussion Sites
9.3.6. Blogs
9.4. Memos
9.5. Letters
9.6. Reports
9.6.1. Informal Reports
9.6.2. Formal Reports
9.7. Instructions
9.8. Policy and Procedure Manuals
9.9 . Staff Newsletters
9.10. Forms
9.11. Written Communications for Committees
9.12. Signs   
9.13. PR, Publicity, and Promotion
9.13.1. Attracting Media Attention
9.13.2. Newsletters for the Public
9.13.3. Handouts, Flyers, Brochures
9.13.4. Using Websites and Other Electronic Media for Publicity and Promotion
9.14. Proposals
9.15. Writing about Books
9.15.1. Booklists   
9.15.2. Annotations
9.15.3. Reviews
9.16. Contributions to the Professional Literature
9.16.1. Getting Published 
9.16.2. Citation Form
9.17. Annotated References
10. Training Others in Communication Skills  
10.1. How to Use This Book for Training
10.2. Teaching Adults
10.3. Planning the Training Program
10.4. Using the Microskills Training Model
10.5. Modeling Good Behavior
10.6. Using Audio and Video Recording for Training
10.7. Technology-Enhanced Training 
10.8. When Trainees Are Resistant
10.9. Evaluation and Follow-Up
10.9.1. Evaluation
10.9.2. Follow-Up
10.10. Where to Get Help
10.11. Annotated References

Catherine Sheldrick Ross

Catherine Sheldrick Ross is Professor Emerita at the University of Western Ontario. She has taught graduate courses in reference services, readers' advisory work, and research methods in the MLIS and PhD programs at Western. She has presented more than fifty workshops on reference and readers’ advisory to library professionals in the United States and Canada. Together with Patricia Dewdney and Kirsti Nilsen, she has co-written Communicating Professionally (ALA 2013), now in its third edition. She is a four-time winner of the Reference Services Press Award. In 2013, she received NoveList’s Margaret E. Munroe Award given by the American Library Association for “significant contributions to library adult services.” She has published extensively in the areas of reference services, readers’ advisory, and pleasure reading, including: The Pleasures of Reading (2014), Reading Matters (2006), and Reading Still Matters (2018), the latter two co-authored with Lynne (E. F.) McKechnie and Paulette M. Rothbauer.

Kirsti Nilsen

Kirsti Nilsen taught introductory and advanced courses in reference, as well as government information, collection development, special libraries, and information policy while a professor in the MLIS program at the University of Western Ontario and, earlier, as an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto, where she completed her PhD. Her library experience includes employment at  MIT and the University of Rhode Island, and as special librarian in a corporate libraries. She was a coauthor on the first and second editions of Conducting the Reference Interview with Catherine Ross, with whom she is also co-author of the third edition of Communicating Professionally. In addition, she is the author of The Impact of Information Policy and coauthor of Constraining Public Libraries: The World Trade Organization's General Agreement on Trade in Services, and author of many articles.

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