Library Conversations: Reclaiming Interpersonal Communication Theory for Understanding Professional Encounters

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Marie L. Radford and Gary P. Radford

ISBN-13: 9780838914847

184 pages • 6 x 9
Year Published: 2016

The importance of being “fully present” in face-to-face as well as virtual interactions in the complex, challenging, and rapidly changing work environment of today’s libraries cannot be overstated. It means the difference between conversations that are clear, non-confrontational, and productive and those that are unfocused, awkward, or even threatening. From the reference desk and the community meeting to the board room, the human resource office, and the conference table, effective interpersonal communication lies at the center of the profession. Offering analysis applicable to all types of library situations, this book

  • describes a number of theoretical frameworks for understanding interpersonal communication, spanning Aristotle, John Locke, Ruesch and Bateson, Watzlawick and his colleagues, and Erving Goffman;
  • uses examples from all different types of library interpersonal encounters, including those with colleagues, the public, managers, and subordinates, to discuss how these historical frameworks apply to libraries and the world of information science;
  • combines theory with decades-long empirical research gathered by the authors and their colleagues; and
  • offers an in-depth examination of the reference encounter, introducing a content/relational model of success illustrated with examples from librarians and library users.

By applying the insights provided here to daily communication practice, libraries everywhere can build positive relationships with library users, the communities they serve, and among their own staff.

Sku: 9780838914847

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