Library Trends 50 (2) Fall 2001: Technological Advances in Reference: A Paradigm Shift?


Library Trends 50 (2) Fall 2001: Technological Advances in Reference: A Paradigm Shift? Edited by Evelyn L. Curry.

Computer-based reference has significantly improved library service to contemporary users - from the introduction of online and cataloging databases to local and wide-area networks to electronic reference sources. The appearance of the Internet in the 1990s heralded a new era for libraries in terms of networking opportunities. More specifically “virtual reference” (or Web-based reference) has had a major impact on the referral function. This issue examines the extent to which (and how) technological advances have changed basic reference practice. Does the “new face” of reference constitute a paradigm shift? According to the authors in this issue, yes and no. Yes, in the sense that reference librarians have new responsibilities in the digital era (e.g., how to achieve high tech, high touch). No, in the sense that new delivery mechanisms have not changed the basic tenets of the profession. In fact, the technological options have strengthened the base.

Library Trends (ISSN 0024-2594) is an essential tool for librarians and educators alike. Each issue thoroughly explores a current topic of interest in professional librarianship and includes practical applications, thorough analyses, and literature reviews. The journal is published quarterly for the Graduate School of Library and Information Science by The Johns Hopkins University Press. For subscription information, call 800-548-1784 (410-516-6987 outside the U.S. and Canada), email jlorder [at], or visit

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