Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
on February 8, 2009
Reference and Information Services in the 21st Century by Kay Ann Cassell and Uma Hiremath was my assigned textbook for my required reference class toward my master's degree in library and information science. Having completed a semester of library school I have realized that a lot of writing about the ins and outs of libraries can be quite dry. (I tell my mother the titles of books I need to read and she starts to laugh nervously. For a really long time.)
That said, this one is not as bad as it could be. While the writing follows a very clear formula, it is still informative. The writing is also not so redundant as to render the text into nonsensical gibberish. Some of the information, if you have spent any time with libraries in your own life, will be redundant. Some pieces of information will be pure gold. Unfortunately, I suspect that is often the way with textbooks.
The sections on readers advisory and the reference interview were both well put together but the text spends just as much time with more specific topics like maps. I enjoyed the chapter on dictionaries but that might say more about me than the book. That aside, I am forced to underscore the fact that Cassell and Hiremath's treatment of numerous sources for each topic, while undoubtedly informative, did start to feel very repetitive.
I like this book for three big reasons. First because the book is dedicated to me. Not to me specifically, but to me and all of the other intrepid librarians of the twenty-first century. I also like that the book does focus on electronic resources which, lets face it, are a really big part of library reference work nowadays. Finally, I am forever indebted to this book for introducing me to KDL's What's Next Database--a searchable database to find series titles, order of books, and authors. I've known about the site for a couple of months and it still feels like a dream come true.