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It is exciting, as practicing librarians, to find a singular voice that stands out as a strong influence on the profession. Anne Grodzins Lipow provided one such voice, inspiring us to evaluate our philosophy of patron service and helping us define our professional values. Lipow’s body of work encompasses many contemporary library issues, involving myriad aspects of customer service. Lipow addressed issues including patron-friendly catalogs and reference service in both traditional face-to-face and newer virtual settings, recognized the importance of training staff as part of continuous improvement in customer service, and emphasized the power of using technology to improve delivery of library services. As trends and technologies have evolved, Lipow successfully articulated how those changes could be integrated into the traditional library organization. Her position regarding library issues, including the importance of the “human factor” in reference service, has helped us shape our patron-centered service philosophy. This has impacted the reference service we strive to provide, the issues we advocate for, and the environments in which we work.


Lipow; Anne Grodzins; 1935-; Reference librarians – Training of; Reference services (Libraries)


Library and Information Science | Science and Technology Studies


Copyright 2008 Roy Tennant.

Published under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike License Generic,

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.