For immediate release | March 26, 2013

How to answer any question at the reference desk

CHICAGO — The new sixth edition of “Successful Enquiry Answering Every Time,” published by Facet Publishing and available through ALA Neal-Schuman, is a one-stop guide to answering all types of inquiries at the reference desk. Tim Buckley Owen guides readers through every stage of research, from finding out what the user really wants, to providing a thorough response. Emphasizing how to make the best use of limited resources, Owen also offers a final chapter with practical advice on how to set up a reference desk from scratch or revive one that needs a fresh approach. This fully updated edition offers a wealth of new information, including:

  • Advice on how to handle inquiries by email, SMS and social media;
  • Coverage of developments in new mobile media, such as smart phones and e-books;
  • Assessment of new information sources such as blogs;
  • Ways to manage, evaluate and improve remote reference;
  • A “Starter Sources” section offering an up-to-date list of quality reference sources online and in print.

Owen is an independent writer and trainer with more than 40 years' experience of information work, at Westminster Central Reference Library, the City Business Library and as principal information officer at the London Research Center. He has also held strategic media and communications posts at Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP); the Museums, Libraries & Archives Council; and the Library & Information Commission.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. Founded in 1976 by Patricia Glass Schuman and John Vincent Neal, ALA Neal-Schuman, now an imprint of ALA Publishing, publishes professional books for librarians, archivists, and knowledge managers. Contact us at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5418 or

Related Links

"Successful Enquiry Answering Every Time, Sixth Edition"

"Reference and Information Services: An Introduction, Third Edition"

"Implementing Virtual Reference Services: A LITA Guide"


Jill Davis

Marketing Manager

ALA Editions

1-800-545-2433 ext. 5418