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.
- About the Authors
Based on the latest research in communication theory but tailored specifically for real-world application, this updated manual speaks equally to the needs of students preparing to enter the profession and those who are already fielding reference inquiries. The authors, working in consultation with a stellar advisory board of scholars and practitioners, present a convenient and comprehensive resource that will teach you how to understand the needs of public, academic, and special library users across any virtual setting—including email, text messaging, and social media—as well as in traditional and face-to-face models of communication. Packed with exercises and examples to help you practice effective reference transactions and avoid common pitfalls, this book
- tackles the fundamentals of the reference interview, from why it’s important in the first place to methods for setting the stage for a successful interview and techniques for finding out what the library user really wants to know;
- covers the ins and outs of the readers’ advisory interview;
- examines a wide range of contexts, such as children, young adults, parents, seniors, adults from diverse communities, and those with disabilities;
- presents case studies of innovative reference and user encounters at a variety of libraries;
- offers updated coverage of virtual reference, including new research, virtual reality transcripts, and a look at crowd-sourcing reference via social media;
- features new content on common microaggressions, with guidance on how to use awareness of emotion as a factor in reference interactions to ensure better outcomes;
- discusses topics such as respecting/protecting privacy, overcoming assumptions, implicit judgement, the importance of context, determining the real information need, and many other lessons learned from challenging reference encounters; and
- thoroughly addresses policy and training procedures, as well as the unique challenges faced by paraprofessionals and non-degreed staff.
Find your bearings in the continually evolving hybrid reference environment through proven strategies, advice, exercises, and research from three experts in the field.
Examination copies are available for instructors who are interested in adopting this title for course use.
Praise for the second edition