INLS 501: Information Resources and Services
"The answer is inconsequential. It's how we go about finding the answer." -- Allen Smith
This course will address sources, services, and systems for providing reference and information service in libraries and information centers. We will examine, create, and evaluate reference sources in a variety of formats. You will gain experience with using, providing, and evaluating reference services in a variety of media.
The course will address the following areas, in varying depth:
- Overview of the reference function and the role of libraries;
- The history and future of reference service;
- Structure, access, and evaluation of information tools;
- Question negotiation;
- Search skills and search strategy; and
- Evaluation of reference services.
INLS 501 is an introduction to reference sources and services, broadly construed. If you are interested in reference work in specific environments, SILS offers a variety of courses: INLS 703, 704, & 705, 708, 709, and others.
By the end of the course, students will:
- Be able to identify appropriate information sources and search tools for various types of information needs, and
- Use these sources and tools effectively,
- Evaluate information sources and search tools for quality,
- Evaluate information sources and search tools for relevance to their own information needs,
- Understand the steps of the reference transaction, including question negotiation and search strategy development,
- Be able to create documents for indirect reference.
| Jeffrey Pomerantz, Ph.D.
CB 3360, 100 Manning Hall
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3360
| v: 919-962-8064
pomerantz at unc dot edu
|Office hours: I am in Seattle, WA for the 2013-14 academic year & will obviously therefore not be holding office hours in person. However I will still be reachable by all of the fine media listed above. Contact me via any means you prefer. I'm happy to schedule a phonecall if you require a longer conversation.|
Course LibGuides site (I will provide you with login info in class)
Course Piazza site
Textbook & reading
No textbook is required.
All readings will be assigned on the course Schedule. All readings will be available on the free web, as an ejournal, or via the Library's ereserves. Readings are also listed in my course Pinboard feed.
Readings are listed on the Schedule on the day on which we will discuss them.
I collect other items of interest using the inls501 tag on Pinboard. Please do the same.
Reference is a central function of libraries, and as a result a lot gets written about it. The two standard textbooks that get used in Reference courses are:
Bopp, Richard E. and Linda C. Smith. (2001). Reference and Information Services: An Introduction, 3rd ed. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited.
Katz, William A. (2002). Introduction to Reference Work, Volume I: Basic Information Sources. 8th Ed. New York: McGraw‑Hill.
Katz, William A. (2002). Introduction to Reference Work, Volume II: Reference Services and Reference Processes. 8th Ed. New York: McGraw‑Hill.
There are several journals dedicated to reference, including:
- Reference & User Services Quarterly (RUSA's journal, formerly titled RQ (Reference Quarterly))
- Reference Services Review
- The Reference Librarian
And pretty much every journal in the field of ILS publishes articles on reference from time to time.
Grading rubric & other policies
See my course grading rubric.
See my course policies.
See the web.unc.edu Online Class Statement.
Your final grade will be calculated as follows:
- Information Service Evaluation: 10 points
- Internet Public Library: 15 (5 points per question)
- Social Q&A: 15 (5 points per question)
- Street Reference: 20
- Participation: 10