Professor and Director of the Ph.D. Program Marie L. Radford has co-written a new book titled, “Library Conversations: Reclaiming Interpersonal Communication Theory for Understanding Professional Encounters.”
With the release of the book, published by ALA Neal Schuman, librarians, students and scholars of library and information sciences, can learn to improve their day-to-day communication skills, and strengthen their relationships with their users, staff, and the communities they serve.
Radford explains, “This book presents communication theory in an accessible manner, illustrated with a great many examples from library interactions and transcripts from live-chat virtual reference live chat sessions.”
This is the first book Radford co-authored with her husband, SC&I Ph.D. alumnus and Editor-in-Chief of the Atlantic Journal of Communication, Gary Radford (Ph.D. 1991), Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
The research-based book focuses on the description, understanding, and application of communication theory in library situations, within the contexts of different types of libraries, including in-person and online communication situations. Radford explains, “Communication theory is not usually taught in depth to those working in libraries. This book presents a new model of the reference encounter that allows for a fuller understanding of the dynamics of interpersonal interactions and provides fresh perspectives.”
The book offers scholarly expertise and a deeper look into these encounters, from a naturalistic studies perspective, that incorporates the voices of library clients and information providers to illustrate how theoretical frameworks can be used to shed light on these viewpoints.
Now that this book is completed, Radford has begun a third revision of another book "Conducting the Reference Interview" (ALA Editions) with two other co-authors, Professors affiliated with the University of Western Ontario, Catherine Sheldrik Ross and Kirsti Nilsen.
In the future, will Radford pursue a second husband and wife co-authored book? Radford said, “We currently have no plans for another book. It was a challenging, yet enjoyable, effort over the course of several years, so this might be the one and only Radford & Radford book. Gary’s current project is a manuscript on subliminal communication and persuasion that builds upon his Rutgers dissertation.”
Radford conducts research on interpersonal communication in face-to-face and virtual environments, media stereotypes of libraries and librarians, and qualitative assessment of traditional and virtual reference services. For more information, visit the book’s main website.