Cover image for The reference encounter : interpersonal communication in the academic library
The reference encounter : interpersonal communication in the academic library
Radford, Marie L.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chicago : Association of College and Research Libraries, 1999.
Physical Description:
xi, 242 pages ; 23 cm.
Format :


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Item Holds
Z674 .A75 NO.52 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Anecdotes on the importance of interpersonal communication skills at the reference desk are plentiful. Radford (William Paterson Univ., NJ) backs up the anecdotes with qualitative research. Based on her doctoral dissertation, The Reference Encounter explores perceptions of relational and content dimensions of communication between librarian and library user. Radford's book follows the typical research formatÄintroduction, literature review, methodology, analysis, discussion, and implications/future directions. Among other things, the appendixes include interview questions, observation forms, sample transcripts, and sample critical incidents. Radford's research finds: 1) interpersonal relationships and communication are important in perceptions of reference interactions; 2) library users place a high degree of significance on the attitude/personal qualities of the librarian giving assistance; 3) some users value interpersonal aspects more than the receipt of information; 4) librarians are more likely than users to evaluate the reference encounter from content dimensions involving the transfer of information; and 5) librarians perceive relationship qualities to be important in the success of reference interactions (although to a lesser degree than users). This is a unique and interesting addition to the literature on the reference encounter. The style of writing is scholarly but readable. Recommended for library science collections and academic libraries.ÄJanet Brewer, Murray State Univ. Lib., KY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.