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The dimensions of reference and instructional services and the challenge of “keeping up”

Eleanor Mitchell (Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA)
Sarah Barbara Watstein (UCLA Library, Los Angeles, California, USA)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Article publication date: 16 May 2008




For front‐line reference and instruction librarians, for public service managers and administrators, “keeping up” today is indeed a tall order. The purpose of this paper is to present the broad dimensions of reference and instructional services in today's academic, public and special libraries.


The paper presents the articles in this issue of RSR as reflecting the multifaceted dimensions of reference and instructional services in libraries of all sizes and types.


Experienced academic librarians know that staying abreast of what is happening in academe, of developments in information technology, and of current events in related fields, constitutes one of the critical (and often vexing) challenges facing one's peers and colleagues. A myriad resources exist to help one to keep up with change, new developments, technology, and trends, including, for example, Weblogs, listservs, web sites, e‐mail, newspapers, scholarly journals in library and information science and those in related disciplines. Similarly, a myriad techniques exist to help one to develop a better strategy for keeping up, including distributed e‐mailed daily reports from news sources, subscribing to selected web sites, RSS feeds, and news aggregators.


The paper shows how the challenge of “keeping up” can be accomplished with the use of emerging technologies.



Mitchell, E. and Barbara Watstein, S. (2008), "The dimensions of reference and instructional services and the challenge of “keeping up”", Reference Services Review, Vol. 36 No. 2, pp. 117-118.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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