McCord, Gretchen. What You Need To Know About Privacy Law: A Guide for Librarians and Educators. Libraries Unlimited: ABC-CLIO. 2013. 134p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781610690812. pap. $45; ebk. ISBN 9781610690829. PRO MEDIA
Librarians and educators, as the subtitle promises, will gain clear information here about the ways American law is evolving as it pertains to patrons and students. McCord (Copyright in Cyberspace: Questions and Answers for Librarians), an attorney specializing in copyright and privacy law, largely avoids unnecessary legal terminology and offers nicely arranged and clearly presented material. Her narrative is interspersed with applicable examples of situations that may confront a school or library administrator. She cites legal opinions as recent as 2013 and includes a thoughtful discussion of the three emerging technologies that may lead to new concerns: cloud computing, new social media trends, and location tracking. Explaining legal concepts such as reasonableness and intent, McCord covers the evolving nature of privacy law and the use of technology in educational institutions, public and private, and in all types of libraries. VERDICT In scope, this book complements rather than duplicates Bryan R. Warnick’s Understanding Student Rights in Schools: Speech, Religion, and Privacy in Educational Settings. (Warnick is an educator rather than an attorney.) Accessibly formatted with meaningful headings, a good index, and authoritative citations, McCord’s book efficiently leads readers to their applicable concern when faced with ambiguous situations. Strongly recommended to library and educational administrators, enabling them to work well with their institution’s legal counsel.
Nims, Julia K. & others. Implementing an Inclusive Staffing Model for Today’s Reference Services: A Practical Guide for Librarians. Rowman & Littlefield. (Practical Guides for Librarians). 2013. 150p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780810891289. $65; ebk. ISBN 9780810891296. PRO MEDIA
Reference services have changed drastically in the last few years, and this guide is intended to be a model of how reference staff can adapt and evolve to changing technology and patron needs. The university library background of all three authors—Nims, Paula Storm, and Robert Stevens (all at Eastern Michigan Univ. Lib.) shows in their assumptions although the book is not billed as for academic libraries only; it is described as “conceived with both academic and public libraries in mind.” Yet in describing various reference question classification modules and how to code the results, they refer to “having four or five librarians code the questions…,” a degree of staffing that most libraries lack, leaving aside the question of even having reference librarians available for coding. The sources cited throughout include dated content, an unfortunate situation given these transformative times for reference work. A few of the bright notes: there is guidance on how best to get existing staff to participate in the changes in their work, and there are solid basic reference interview examples for training paraprofessional staff who will be on the front lines. Oddly, the authors suggest options for those experienced and educated librarians who have been displaced, such as work in higher administration, outreach, information literacy, scholarship, and collection development. What about the librarians who already have these responsibilities? VERDICT Although some fellow university librarians in references services may be interested, this is not recommended for librarians generally.