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Keeping up to date

One of the ways I keep myself up to date with research in academic libraries and reference services is by regularly browsing over the articles published in a handful of journals. If something catches my eye, I download a copy to my “read and review” file in Evernote (or just the link) to look over when I have a free moment during breaks at work or on the weekends. There are eight journals that I regularly peruse, including:

Reference Services Review
College & Research Libraries
American Libraries
Journal of Academic Librarianship
The Library Quarterly
portal: Libraries & the Academy
First Monday
New Review of Academic Librarianship

Not all of these are published monthly, so in any given month there are usually only 2-4 that have new issues. I don’t always get around to reading everything that I download, but browsing over the headlines at least keeps me in the loop. It’s a good practice develop. To wit, in a recent Reference Services Review article on the practices of reference librarians,  Smith & Oliva (2010) point out that while habitually reading professional journals does not necessarily make one a better librarian, it does increase one’s level of comfort when dealing with reference questions (see what I did there? =). I’m sure these findings are applicable to most areas of librarianship.

All this leads me to say: I’m going to make it a point to regularly post comments/synopses of my readings partly as a self-motivator but also in an attempt to share with others what I find to be the most valuable pieces of current research. I hope you, dear reader, will find the information useful as well.

Smith, D. & Oliva, V. (2010). Becoming a renaissance reference librarian in academe : attitudes toward generalist and subject specific reference and related profession development. Reference Services Review 38(1), 125-151.