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NIU librarian edits book on reference services

August 23, 2013
Rosanne M. Cordell

Rosanne M. Cordell

Rosanne M. Cordell, associate dean for Public Services at NIU Libraries, is the editor of “Library Reference Services and Information Literacy: Models for Academic Institutions.”

The book was released in June by IGI Global, an international publishing company specializing in high-quality research publications in the fields of educational technology and information technology management.

As classrooms and universities strive to adapt their instructional methods to an ever progressing technological age, it is imperative that academic libraries also revisit the ways in which reference and instruction services are organized and implemented.

“When librarians are trained in reference and instruction as separate subjects, they often view these services as separate, as well,” Cordell said.

“In my many years as head of a reference department in a medium-sized academic library, library school students often asked to do a practicum or internship in my department. They seemed surprised, and sometimes dismayed, that it was our policy that reference practicum students also do instruction,” she added.

“We did that because many academic libraries require public service librarians to perform both duties. Why were so many of our students surprised at this? Many did well in instruction sessions and some even seemed to enjoy them, but few came to us seeing these two services as essentially two parts of a single purpose of integrating with the institutional curriculum.”

“Library Reference Services and Information Literacy: Models for Academic Institutions” not only advocates for a more intentional integration of reference and instructional services, but it also provides organizational background, staff objectives, and various successes and challenges that have already been experienced by real institutions.

This publication is an important reference source for librarians, practitioners and university leaders who wish to maximize the current utilize of their resources.