This useful book helps reference librarians understand the information seeking needs and behaviors of the diverse groups of people in the communities they serve. With the increasing diversity of the American population, librarians striving to plan and deliver excellent reference services must enhance their understanding of how best to assist many types of individuals and groups, from children to the elderly. Library Users and Reference Services provides much-needed help in this area, delivering strategies and methods to aid readers in their quest for increasingly effective service for all members of the communities in which they work. Library Users and Reference Services is divided into four sections of chapters which cover a broad range of topics to assist readers in planning and delivering appropriate services. Section One explores customer service, economics of information, and marketing as key concepts useful in studying information needs of specific groups in the population. Section Two focuses on scholars and students in three broad academic disciplines: science, humanities, and social sciences.
Section Three covers groups with special characteristics such as age, economic standing, gender, or profession. Section Four discusses evaluation and provides guidance in the use of the most widely accepted measures for assessing reference effectiveness. The book's final chapter explores redesigning reference services for the future, providing a glimpse of how such services may change. Library Users and Reference Services is a practical guide to help readers understand the many issues related to serving diverse populations in a community. Reference librarians and graduate library school students and faculty will learn more effective ways to help a heterogeneous public with the help of this new book.