Humanities Reference Librarians in the Electronic Age: Strategies for Integrating Traditional and On-line Resources in an Academic Library

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University Libraries


Reference librarians, Research skills, Humanities, Humanists, Scholarly research, Academic libraries


Humanists build new ideas and arguments based upon studies done in the past. Although research requires these scholars to pick through the literature that has come before, much has been lost because of the lack of adequate comprehensive reference tools. In the age of technology, new projects are available which enhance and enlarge the body of work upon which future scholars can build. For reference librarians helping with research questions in the humanities, the marriage of traditional reference tools and new on-line resources means a richer cumulation of past scholarship. In this paper, I will discuss strategies for academic humanities reference librarians to integrate traditional and electronic reference resources, and the need to continue learning the skills to use both. Humanities reference librarians must continue the great humanist tradition of building new ideas upon older foundations by successfully acquiring and using both new and old reference resources.

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