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Libri

International Journal of Libraries and Information Studies

Editor-in-Chief: Albright, Kendra S. / Bothma, Theo J.D.

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IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 0.400
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1865-8423
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Volume 63, Issue 1 (Mar 2013)

Issues

Culture and Competencies: A Multi-Country Examination of Reference Service Competencies

Laura Saunders
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  • Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
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/ Serap Kurbanoglu / Mary Wilkins Jordan
  • Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
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/ Joumana Boustany / Brenda Chawner
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  • IST Programmes Director, School of Information Management, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
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/ Matylda Filas / Ivana Hebrang Grgic
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  • Research/teaching assistant, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
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/ Gaby Haddow
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  • Lecturer, Information Studies, School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
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/ Jos van Helvoort / Professor, Mersini Kakouri
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  • Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Library Science & Information Systems, Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki, Thessalioniki, Greece
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/ Ane Landøy
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  • Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
  • Academic Librarian, University Library, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
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/ Karolina Minch
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  • Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
  • Librarian, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
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/ Gillian Oliver
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  • Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
  • Senior Lecturer, School of Information Management, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
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/ Panayiota Polydoratou
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  • Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Library Science & Information Systems, Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki, Thessalioniki, Greece
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/ Angela Repanovici
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  • Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
  • Professor, Information Science,Transilvania University of Brasov, Brasov, Romania
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/ Egbert J. Sanchez Vanderkast
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  • Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
  • Researcher, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico D.F.
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/ Tania Todorova
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  • Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
  • Associate Professor, State University of Library Studies and Information Technology, Sofia, Bulgaria
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/ Sirje Virkus
  • Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
  • Lecturer, Institute of Information Studies, Tallinn University, Tallinn, Estonia
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/ Anna Wolodko
  • Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
  • librarian, University Library, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
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/ Professor, Daniela Zivkovic
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  • Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
  • Associate Professor, Department of Library Science, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
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Published Online: 2013-03-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/libri-2013-0003

Abstract

Reference librarians have the opportunity to interact with patrons and colleagues of many different backgrounds, languages, and cultures as a result of our increasingly interconnected and peripatetic world. In order to provide the best possible service to these varied communities, reference librarians should understand some of the culture differences that exist across countries, and in particular, the differences in the way that reference services are conceived and delivered in different countries. This study explores some of these differences in reference services by surveying current practitioners in thirteen countries to find out which competencies they believe are most important for academic reference librarians right now, and in the near future. The results of this study highlight some important commonalities and differences, and could help reference librarians to manage and meet the expectations of their international patrons, and perhaps help them to prepare for an international job experience of their own. Academic reference librarians may be interested to see the extent to which their counterparts in other countries face similar challenges and expectations with regard to delivering reference services. Teaching faculty in library science programs will be interested to understand reference competencies and expectations in other countries, especially as they teach greater numbers of international students or consider collaborating with international colleagues. In addition, an international understanding is important in developing students who can compete in a global job market.

About the article

Published Online: 2013-03-05

Published in Print: 2013-03-01


Citation Information: Libri, ISSN (Online) 1865-8423, ISSN (Print) 0024-2667, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/libri-2013-0003.

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