Eleanor Mitchell (Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA)
Sarah Barbara Watstein (Lemieux Library, Seattle University, Seattle, Washington, USA)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Article publication date: 13 November 2017



Mitchell, E. and Watstein, S.B. (2017), "Editorial", Reference Services Review, Vol. 45 No. 4, pp. 542-543. https://doi.org/10.1108/RSR-09-2017-0035



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

Fulfilling our objectives, one article at a time

There are many facets of Reference Services Review’s aim and scope, including the following:

The journal raises questions, explores new frameworks for user services, advances fresh analyses and research and proposes solutions to diverse operational issues facing librarians and information professionals[1].

The articles in this issue reflect the spectrum of the journal’s objectives expressed above.

Michalak, Rysavy and Wessel’s examination of eight-years’ of quantitative and qualitative feedback on student satisfaction with library services provides fresh analysis and research on the relevance and utility of student satisfaction surveys. Their findings will be useful to academic librarians who are interested in surveying users over a period to gauge their feedback about services, technology, programs and resources.

Peacemaker and Rosebery’s article provides solutions to diverse operational issues facing librarians considering starting a graduate student workshop series or those experiencing difficulties with stand-alone workshops. Here, the two operational issues in particular are considered – planning and promotion.

VanderPol and Sakr from Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates describe how they addressed a need for their staff to help patrons define their information needs, develop search strategies and navigate the information environment in their native language, even when staff cannot speak that language. The authors succeed in providing English speaking librarians with new frameworks for user services.

Reference management software (RMS) preferences among liberal arts faculty is Lonergan’s focus. The article raises questions about faculty needs for RMS, their use of these tools, the importance of various RMS features and their recommendation or introduction to students.

Library instruction and information literacy 2016

Reference Services Review readers have come to expect the annual library instruction and information literacy literature review in the last issue of each volume. Powered by extensive searches of the published literature by seasoned practitioners, these reviews provide readers with reliable backward-facing surveys of the landscape. They provide readers with historical context, positioning them build on the intellectual work or experiences of other researchers or practitioners. As the pace of change increases, literature reviews can inform new visions.

Stimulating reading, the 2016 review included in this issue continues a tradition of which we are particularly proud. Special thanks here to Latisha Reynolds, Latisha, Amber Willenborg, Samantha McClellan, Rosalinda Linares and Elizabeth Sterner.

Looking ahead

Thought-provoking commentary from today’s op-ed columnists increasingly focuses on politics, public opinion and social justice, or on the intersections of these areas. In future issues, we look forward to manuscripts which take this one step further – focusing on the intersections of these areas with academic libraries.


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