Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Call for Chapters: Reference in the Modern World(s)

It's been a while since I've posted - an icestorm, a week in winter without power, a third cat, getting a grant to research Ky women artists, a new job, starting a new business, and joining a writing workshop to get serious about it.

So look in the nearish future for at least a website on women artists, a chapter in a forthcoming book on archival PR, and I'm editing a book on modern reference (see below). Drop me a line at if you're interested. The deadline is short so we can get it to press before it's no longer modern!

Reference has gotten more complicated in recent years, with the plethora of materials online and in paper, more ways to ask questions and deliver answers, a larger multicultural public, and interdisciplinary subjects. All this is complicated by declining budgets as usage increases.

This is a call for chapters for a new book that covers these issues and more, for public and academic libraries. New authors as well as experienced authors are welcome. Chapters can be co-written. The deadlines are short to get it to press while still timely; a letter of commitment is needed by June 1, with a brief abstract or outline of topics and a short CV. Please feel free to ask questions!

Working title:

Reference in the Modern World(s)


Length - 3,000 - 5,000 words (negotiable)

Bibliography is required

Reference for the unattached - freelancers, distance students, entrepeneurs, home schoolers, military, self-employed
Business and academic support in the library, and vice versa

Balancing online and onshelf - budgeting for both, balancing services, training staff and patrons

Changing where we work - roving, virtual, embedded, and co-operative

Changing how we work - FAQs, websites, metadata, wikis, and knowledge management

Changing who does the work - staff and paraprofessionals, training, outsourcing

Specialists and generalists - new breeds and hybrids

Teaching your library - instruction, orientation, and learning commons

Images and media - reference when it's not written

Multicultural and multilingual - same skills, different outlooks

Special collections - getting patrons to the good stuff
Geneology, rare books, archives, manuscripts, local history

More topics are welcome, please feel free to contact me.


Letters of commitment due June 1

First draft due week of August 2

Edited drafts returned week of August 30

Final draft due week of November 1


Adult reference librarians in public and academic libraries, and LIS students.

Editor : Susan Knoer, MLS

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