'Something of the cordiality displayed by an old-time innkeeper': thus Samuel Swett Green described the correct demenour of the reference librarian towards an approaching user in 1876. The full citation is:
Green, Samuel Swett
Personal relations between librarians and readers
Library Journal 1 (November 1876): 74-81
I fear the title of his article might give rise to sniggering at the back of a modern library school lecture hall.
I came across this while skimming the chapter on Reference and Information Service in Sandra Wood's new Health Sciences Librarianship1, an update of her 2008 Introduction to health sciences librarianship.
Once upon a time there was a multi-volume series, Current practice in health sciences librarianship. It ran to eight volumes, published between 1994 and 2001 by Scarecrow Press. I cut my teeth on titles like Shane Godbolt and Leslie Morton's Information sources in the medical sciences, Michael Carmel's Medical Librarianship, and his later work, Health care librarianship and information work. We no longer have a textbook aimed at the new entrant into British health information work. Perhaps we should.
For the moment, however, I shall be cultivating the mien of an old-time innkeeper.
1 Wood, Sandra Health Sciences Librarianship Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2014. ISBN 9780810888128