The Librarian as Information Consultant: Transforming Reference for the Information Age

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the Author

Library users' evolving information needs and their choice of search methods have changed reference work profoundly. Today's reference librarian must work in a whole new way—not only service-focused and businesslike, but even entrepreneurial. Murphy innovatively rethinks the philosophy behind current library reference services in this thought-provoking book, which

  • Rebrands reference librarianship on the model of a consulting business, providing a renewed vision of the reference desk by treating patrons as clients
  • Spells out the importance of the patron's voice, and details methods for building and maintaining relationships with patrons
  • Identifies the reference librarian's competitive advantage over Web search engines and shows how to capitalize on it

Murphy adapts existing business practices and programs to the context of the library, allowing frontline staff and administrators in any type of reference department to monitor and continuously improve their library's services.


Chapter 1 The Library and Information Consultant
Chapter 2 Strategies for Building and Maintaining Consumer Relationships
Chapter 3 Marketing the Library and Information Consultant's Services: Creating a Sophisticated Brand
Chapter 4 The Business of Consulting: Managing Employee Service Roles and Consumer Demand
Chapter 5 Developing the Infrastructure and Culture for Continuous Quality Improvement


Sarah Anne Murphy

Sarah Anne Murphy has held numerous positions at Ohio State University since 1999. She is currently coordinator of research and reference for the OSU Libraries. Murphy earned a master of business of administration from The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business in 2008 and her master of library science from Kent State University in 2000. She has published papers on Lean Six Sigma, mentoring, and issues related to veterinary medicine libraries in College and Research Libraries, the Journal of Academic Librarianship, and the Journal of the Medical Library Association.