Reference review sept 2013
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Reference review sept 2013

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  • Final session of the morning, I’d like to take you through a refresher session on reference. The art of reference is a huge topic, and you can spend many semsters at library school learning about it. However, today we are going to just hit the most critical points.
  • We are most familiarly with the patron driven first contact… they approach us for to ask a question. However, we are missing a large part of the population – those who may be too shy, embarrassed or unaware of the service we offer…
  • Have you ever noticed someone in the stacks looking lost or perturbed or just looks like they are searching without finding?
  • It is amazing how many times that a patron will say, well actually, I was trying to find… or no,
  • Patrons’ first question is not always the expression of their interest need but to see if you are approachable – how many times have you heard our patrons say “I didn’t want to bother you” or “sorry for taking up your time” – make sure they know we are here to help and interested in doing so. Sensitive, discreet – is there a better place to work with the patron versus the front desk? How can you make them comfortable during the transaction.Remember – patron may be uncomfortable asking for help, or intimidated by your knowledge/position, or don’t want to look stupid, or think their question is unworthy – relaxing the patron can remove chance they will just agree with what you suggest versus what they really want.Attentive means that you need to be able to spend uninterrupted time with them or the source – put incoming calls on hold, or call for assistance. It is okay to ask – can I call you back or look for the information when it calms down and call you back? Or, I need to call someone up to help out, can you wait for minute?
  • Let’s talk about the reference interview now
  • Listening is the first step of the reference interviewSurprising how you can already start thinking about what they want and make assumptions without actually hearing them . Stop your thoughts and listenParaphrasing – restating the the question not only reassures yourself that you understand but also reasssures the patron that you were listeningOpen questions – why are you looking for this, when do you need it by, how are you going to use it. China example. Clarify/verify – this is what I am going to look for – is this correct? Make sure they understand that the search can be a process, a few steps involved. And not always instant results.
  • Now that we have an idea of what the patron is looking for, how can we get it for them?
  • Staff does not need to know everything, but it is our responsibility to be familiar with what sources of information we offer and how to use our tools to find information efficiently. This is an ongoing development process – change is constant. Take the time to explore. Go through the reference section and see what is in it, try out our on-line resources so you are familiar with how to use them. Share your interesting references and talk about what you found. . Part of this is also knowing when to ask for help with the question. Alternatives – sometimes there just isn’t a book on a subject. Ie., how to build a boat out of craft materials. Or, experiments on matter. Can you find it in an encyclopedia? An on-line article? Within another book? Think bigger than the specific subject and where it may belong. Use your creativity – examplle with Mark and the Chicago fire tire. Be curious, be tenacious – don’t let them leave without something, even a phone number.ILL should be our last resort – time and effort. Try to make use of our resources whenever possible.
  • During a busy afternoon, I observed a reference transaction. A patron came to the desk, which had a line up, and asked “I’d like some information on..” and named their topic. The using the catalogue, the topic was searched, and the patron was told – downstairs, and told the dewey number to look for. Any guesses what the patron did? Walked to top of stairs, then turned and went out the door. Again, while we are well acquainted with our collection and systems like Dewey, many of our patrons are not and find it downright daunting to find something. Go with them, or find someone else to unless they adamently object to further service. That’s okay too, but let them make the choice. Don’t forget – pages, Tech Services, downstairs staff.
  • Finally – it’s not over til its over!Make sure you confirm that you found what patron was looking for. Ask them if they would like to see how or where you found it. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. It’s okay! Try to gauge/read your audience – are they disconnecting, are they overwhelmed, but again never assume. Finally – the big one… is there anything else you need? Don’t let them go unless you can see they are satisfied with the transaction. And it could help increase circulation.Kelley and Sharon look at your reports as to information that we don’t have, so don’t forget to report it on the stats sheet.
  • Service – satisfy patrons Usage – current and repeat – satisfied patrons come back and tell their friends. Circulation statistics are one of our key measures – it shows that we are used!c) Support – library valued. Beyond the historical love of libraries, but for making a difference in their lives.
  • Exercise
  • This will be a bit of a teaser section – I’m not going to go into detail, but hope that if you see something here that you don’t know about, that you find out more about it. Better still, that it might help you in that brain teaser reference question….
  • This will be a bit of a teaser section – I’m not going to go into detail, but hope that if you see something here that you don’t know about, that you find out more about it. Better still, that it might help you in that brain teaser reference question…. a) General vs Subject – what the search engine looks for… b) Browse by subject heading – show how one can source info via the subject index c) Narrow by branch – how to search only in your branch d) Series - search by series e) Electronic resources – use calculus - title
  • This will be a bit of a teaser section – I’m not going to go into detail, but hope that if you see something here that you don’t know about, that you find out more about it. Better still, that it might help you in that brain teaser reference question…. a) General vs Subject – what the search engine looks for… b) Browse by subject heading – show how one can source info via the subject index c) Narrow by branch – how to search only in your branch d) Series - search by series e) Electronic resources – use calculus - title
  • This will be a bit of a teaser section – I’m not going to go into detail, but hope that if you see something here that you don’t know about, that you find out more about it. Better still, that it might help you in that brain teaser reference question….Need to gauge your patron – what will be best for them – maybe online is not the right option….

Reference review sept 2013 Reference review sept 2013 Presentation Transcript

  • Reference Refresher Sept 27, 2013
  • What we will be covering: 1.Review: Best Practices 2.Group Exercise – Reference Quest 3.Review: KTPL Reference Resources Reference Refresher – Sept. 27, 2013
  • Best Practices Elements of a Reference Transaction 1. First Contact 2. The Interview 3. Sourcing the Information 4. Follow-up Reference Refresher – Sept. 27, 2013
  • Best Practices 1. First Contact – can be: a) patron driven Reference Refresher – Sept. 27, 2013
  • Best Practices 1. First Contact – can be: b) staff driven: in the stacks “Can I help you?” Reference Refresher – Sept. 27, 2013
  • Best Practices 1. First Contact – can be: c) staff driven – at the circ desk “Did you find what you were looking for?” Reference Refresher – Sept. 27, 2013
  • Review: Best Practices 1. First Contact – staff should be: a) b) c) d) e) approachable sensitive discreet unassuming attentive Reference Refresher – Sept. 27, 2013
  • Reference Refresher – Sept. 27, 2013
  • Best Practices 2. The Interview – steps for success: a) Listen TURN YOUR THOUGTS OFF and LISTEN! b) Paraphrase Restate Q in your OWN WORDS c) Open questions d) Clarify/verify Seek more than YES/NO: Why, What, When, Where So, let’s start here (subject)? Reference Refresher – Sept. 27, 2013
  • Reference Refresher – Sept. 27, 2013
  • Best Practices 3. Sourcing Information – consider: a) Knowing = where to find, not what to find! b) In house alternatives to “do you have a book on….?” c) ILLO – last resort Reference Refresher – Sept. 27, 2013
  • Review: Best Practices 3. Sourcing Information – consider: Don’t point.. SHOW! Reference Refresher – Sept. 27, 2013
  • Best Practices 4. Follow-up – questions to ask: a) Is this what you were looking for? b) Do you want to see how/where I found it? c) Is there anything else you need? d) Report “holes” in collection. Reference Refresher – Sept. 27, 2013
  • Reference Refresher – Sept. 27, 2013
  • Best Practices Why is all this important? a) Service – satisfy patrons b) Usage – current and repeat c) Support – library valued. Reference Refresher – Sept. 27, 2013
  • Group Exercise – Reference Quest 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. teams of 4 2 questions per team 20 m – 10 m per question Split – 2 are patron with question, 2 are library staff – then SWITCH Debrief Reference Refresher – Sept. 27, 2013
  • KTPL’s Resources 1. Our catalog 2. Our databases Reference Refresher – Sept. 27, 2013
  • KTPL’s Resources 1. Our catalog – other ways to search: a) General vs Subject b) Browse by subject heading d) Series e) Electronic resources f) Call Number g) I-bistro h) Knowledge portal Reference Refresher – Sept. 27, 2013
  • KTPL’s Resources 1. Our catalog – other ways to search: g) I-bistro h) Knowledge portal Reference Refresher – Sept. 27, 2013
  • KTPL’s Resources 2. Our databases: Ebooks: Overdrive, Ebsco, Sesame St, Zinio Readers Advisory: Novelist, Literature Resource Center Academic Articles – Ebsco, Gale databases Automotive – Chilton Homework Help – writing, math, etc Languages - Mango Reference Refresher – Sept. 27, 2013
  • Summary – what we covered: 1.Review: Best Practices For more http://www.olc.org/ore/1intro.htm 2.Group Exercise – Reference Quest Coming soon – question of the week 3. Review: KTPL Reference Resources Explore, play and learn! Reference Refresher – Sept. 27, 2013
  • A Final thought… Reference Refresher – Sept. 27, 2013