LSC 553 Information Sources and Services

People to Know

  • Samuel Green - Author of "Personal Relations Between Librarians and Readers." Library Journal, v. 1, October 1876, pp. 74-81. Green is seen as the Father of Reference.

Articles to Read

Goals (from David Shumaker's Fall 2007 syllabus)

At the conclusion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Articulate a philosophy of reference service; discuss ethical and other issues relevant to the provision of information;
  • Apply appropriate communications skills in one-on-one reference interviews and instructional settings
  • Apply standard evaluative criteria to basic reference sources in order to determine the fitness of sources to meet particular information needs;
  • Demonstrate proficiency in retrieving information from general reference sources (print and electronic), including designing basic search strategies; and
  • Discuss policies and procedures for the provision of service, and the role and evaluation of reference and information service departments

Professional Standards Addressed

This course addresses the following competencies of the “Competencies for Information Professionals of the 21st Century,” revised June 2003, by Eileen Abels, Rebecca Jones, John Latham, Dee Magnoni, Joanne Gard Marshall.

  • “C.2 Conducts market research of the information behaviors and problems of current and potential client groups to identify concepts for new or enhanced information solutions for these groups. Transforms these concepts into customized information products and services.
  • C.3 Researches, analyzes and synthesizes information into accurate answers or actionable information for clients, and ensures that clients have the tools or capabilities to immediately apply these.
  • C.4 Develops and applies appropriate metrics to continually measure the quality and value of information offerings, and to take appropriate action to ensure each offering’s relevancy within the portfolio.”

from Section D., Applying Information Tools and Technologies:

  • “Information professionals harness the current and appropriate technology tools to deliver the best services, provide the most relevant and accessible resources, develop and deliver teaching tools to maximize clients’ use of information, and capitalize on the library and information environment of the 21st century.

“IPs educate others in the use of information tools and technologies in a variety of ways, from training people in finding the information they want on the Internet or in proprietary databases to integrating information tools into their clients’ workflow or curriculum.”

Subject Outline

(This subject outline gacked with permission from compssummer2007 wiki.)

Main Text: William Katz—Introduction to Reference Work

From Mary Edsall's Syllabus Fall 2006

Topics to Review:

  • Patrons & Info Seeking
    • Informational signage/systems
  • Reference Interview
    • Reference success
    • Neutral questioning
    • Etiquette
  • Bibliographic Instruction/Information Literacy
    • Critical thinking
    • Best practices for IL
  • Information Access
    • Social aspects of information
    • Understanding information and information seeking behavior
  • The Reference Collection/Collection Development
    • Collection development policies
    • Evaluating reference offerings
  • Electronic Reference/Virtual Reference
    • Searching the Internet
    • Delivering digital reference
    • Traditional vs. digital reference
  • Ethics of Information Work
    • Confidentiality
    • ALA, ASIST, ALA/RUSA (medical, legal, business)
  • Reference Services
    • Flow of information
    • Evaluating reference services
    • Human nature/info seeking
  • Serving Different Populations—Diversity
    • Older adults
    • Physical, Visual, Hearing disabled
    • ADA compliance—in library/ on web
  • Youth/Teens
  • Digital Divide
  • Problem Patrons
  • Security
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