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The Practice of Reference Librarianship

date: 2013-12-16 08:39

Amy VanScoy 1) published a brilliant piece on reference librarianship (bib below). The article is in Library & Information Science Research. 2)

VanScoy's problem statement highlights the importance of her research:

Focusing exclusively on the behaviors that constitute RIS neglects its cognitive and affective dimensions, resulting in a limited understanding of the phenomena. This limited understanding dominates the scholarly discussion and popular representation of RIS, resulting in the misguided belief that RIS can be completely automated or is not needed in a world of tech-savvy information users (p. 272).

I'm looking forward to building on her research and to incorporating this paper in my teaching.

VanScoy's piece begins to paint a holistic picture of what it means to do reference and to be a professional in such a role. It's easy to place a lot of emphasis on some of the methodical aspects of reference librarianship (and to teach reference with an emphasis on these aspects), but the future of librarianship depends on understanding what it really takes to do this work.


VanScoy, Amy. (2013). Fully engaged practice and emotional connection: Aspects of the practitioner perspective of reference and information service. Library & Information Science Research, 35(4), 272-278. doi:10.1016/j.lisr.2013.09.001

  • categories:
    • reference librarianship
    • practice
    • profession
    • phenomenology
blog/the-practice-of-reference-librarianship.txt · Last modified: 2017/03/07 09:13 by seanburns