Trust me, I really tried to come up with a cool, funny title for this post.
We have a new reference assistant starting here next week. As somewhat typical for such a position, the new staff member has a science subject background rather than a library background. In this case, Maps/GIS.
So I thought it might be a good idea to gather together some resources for helping our new hire get acclimatised to reference work in an academic science & engineering library. After all, we're not born with the ability to do good reference interviews!
With the help of the fine folk in Friendfeed, I've gathered together some very good general sources. As well, I've trawled through the archives from Issues in Science & Technnology Librarianship and Science & Technology Libraries to find some other good articles.
Of course, please feel free to suggest other resources that might be of help in the comments. Anything related to reference or just general life in scitech libraries would be appreciated.
- Do researchers find all the relevant literature? Not so much.
- Chemistry and related Information on the Internet
- What I learned from the reference interview about solving problems
- Flying a Light Aircraft: Reference Service Evaluation from a User's Viewpoint
- Oranges and Peaches. Citation to original article here.
- Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers
- Desperately seeking citations: Uncovering faculty assumptions about the undergraduate research process
- Reference Services
- Conducting the Reference Interview: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians
- The Geosciences: Selected Web Resources
- A Field of Green: Renewable Energy Research on the Web
- Synthetic Biology Resources on the Internet
- Implementing Geospatial Web Services: A Resource Webliography
- End-User Patent Searching Using Open Access Sources
- Selected Internet Resources on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
- What Engineering Sophomores Know and Would Like to Know About Engineering Information Sources and Access
- Quantum Computing: Selected Internet Resources for Librarians, Researchers, and the Casually Curious
- Research Methods for Comprehensive Science Literature Reviews
- A Short Course on Patent Reference for Science and Technology Librarians
- E-Books in the Sciences: If We Buy It Will They Use It?
- How to Read Scientific Research Articles: A Hands-On Classroom Exercise
- International Year of Astronomy (IYA 2009): Selected Resources
- Using Google Scholar to Search for Online Availability of a Cited Article in Engineering Disciplines
- Geospatial Technology Support in Small Academic Libraries: Time to Jump on Board?
- Evolution of Reference: A New Service Model for Science and Engineering Libraries
- Geospatial Information Literacy and Outreach in a GIS Environment
- Integrating an Engineering Library's Public Services Desk: Multiple Perspectives
- Assessing Reference: Using the Wisconsin-Ohio Reference Evaluation Program in an Academic Science Library
- Surveying Graduate and Professional Students' Perspectives on Library Services, Facilities and Collections at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Does Subject Discipline Continue to Influence Library Use?
- Marketing and Outreach for Science and Technology Libraries: Selected Resources
- Biology Article Retrieval from Various Databases: Making Good Choices with Limited Resources
- Comparing Journal Use Between Biology Faculty and Undergraduate Students
- Ask a Science Librarian
- The Arizona Electronic Atlas: A New Reference and Instructional Tool
- "I Wouldn't Have Asked for Help if I had to go to the Library": Reference Services On Site
- The Top Ten Things a new Sci/Tech Librarian Should Know: Developing Core Competencies
S&TL (Warning: all toll access articles.)
- Beyond Google: Integrating Chemical Information into the Undergraduate Chemistry and Biochemistry Curriculum
- Change is Coming: A Combined Services Area Project
- Selecting a Database for Drug Literature Retrieval: A Comparison of MEDLINE, Scopus, and Web of Science
- Management Models and Considerations for Virtual Reference
- E-book Usage in Pure and Applied Sciences
- Reference, In-Depth Research Assistance, and Administrative Assistance
- Electronic Scientific Information, Open Access, and Editorial Peer Review
- An Emerging Picture of Mathematicians' Use of Electronic Resources
- Where Do Molecular Biology Graduate Students Find Information?
- Scientific Communication
- Envisioning Reference at MIT
- Chemistry and related Information on the Internet
- Chemical Information Sources Wiki
- Academic publishing
- Getting your feet wet: An introduction to Open Access
- Open Access Overview
- reference is dead! long live reference!: a (very) personal rant
- 100 articles that every librarian should read
- The Crisis in Research Librarianship
Yeah, this is a ton of reading. The point isn't that someone should memorize every word, most of the the articles probably only need to be scanned. What I'm hoping for is a list of resources that will help someone get acclimatized to reference service and hopefully become aware of many of the main issues around such services in academic libraries. As well, there's a bit in here about some general issues in academic libraries.
Over time I can imagine adding to and pruning the list. As well, I can also imagine highlighting a few key resources with the rest in a more supporting role.
As I said above, suggestions are more than welcome.
Update 2011.07.19. Thanks to DJF on Friendfeed for pointing out the original citation for the Oranges & Peaches item. It's Dewdney, Patricia, and Gillian Michell. 1996. "Oranges and peaches: Understanding communication accidents in the reference interview" RQ 35 (4): 520.
Admittedly I'm an ILL paraprofessional, not a ref desk worker, but that means that I see the weirdest citations and patterns of research. My research background is in the humanities, so this is a great introduction to science reference material. Thank you!
I think I need to read a bunch of these! Thanks for adding to my (already lengthy) reading list. :)
Bonnie, JB, you're welcome.
Starting a new job next week. Thanks for the list!