Guide to Reference to cease publication

For Immediate Release
Tue, 03/17/2015


Melissa Wood
Marketing & Sales Manager
ALA Publishing
American Library Association

CHICAGO — ALA Publishing, in collaboration with the Guide to Reference Editorial Review Board, is discontinuing Guide to Reference. The subscription website will continue to operate and be updated through Jan. 31, 2016 but will immediately cease accepting new subscriptions; renewals will be accepted on a prorated basis.  The Guide will be freely accessible beginning February 2016 but at some future date will cease to be available online.

The Guide to Reference began in 1902 as the Guide to the Study and Use of Reference Books, a pamphlet published by Alice Bertha Kroeger of Drexel University. Over subsequent decades the pamphlet grew into a major reference work and a cornerstone of LIS training. The Guide was managed by a distinguished line of general editors, including Isadore Gilbert Mudge, Constance Winchell, Eugene Sheehy, Robert Balay, Robert Kieft and Denise Beaubien Bennett. The print version of the Guide went through 10 editions and in 2008 the Guide made its début online.

The decision to cease publication of this important reference work was mutual between ALA Publishing and the Guide’s Editorial Review Board. This was not an easy decision. Both ALA Publishing and the Editorial Review Board believe that the Guide remains a valuable reference work; however, use of the Guide has declined due to the changing nature of reference sources, the effect of the open Web on information finding, and evolving practices of LIS instruction and staff training.

The print editions remain valuable for in-depth reference work that requires older sources.  ALA Publishing extends its thanks to all who have contributed to this reference tradition over the decades.

Any questions or comments regarding this announcement can be directed to