RUSA guidelines for behavioral performance of reference and information service providers http://www.ala.org/Template.cfm?Section=Home&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=26937
Who provides reference services? “The term librarian in this document applies to all who provide reference and informational services directly to any library users.” THAT MEANS YOU!
Approachability “The librarian’s role in the communications process is to make the patrons feel comfortable in a situation that may be perceived as intimidating, risky, confusing, and overwhelming.”
Interest “Librarians who demonstrate a high level of interest in the inquiries of their patrons will generate a higher level of satisfaction among users.”
Listening “The reference interview is the heart of the reference transaction and is crucial to the success of the process.”
Inquiring Use open-ended questions to elicit more information. Use clarifying questions to refine or narrow the question.
Open-ended questions Please tell me more about your topic. What additional information can you give me? How much information do you need? We have a lot of books and other information on X. What kind of information are you looking for? Please explain that in more detail. Please be more specific. Please tell me more about the sources that you may use for your assignment. How did this question arise?
Clarifying questions What have you already found? What types of information do you need (books, articles, etc.)? Do you need current or historical information? What do you mean by X? Please give me an example. I don’t know much about X. Can you help me understand?
Resources Ohio Reference Excellence on the Web, Module 2, Reference Interview http://www.olc.org/ore/2intro.htm Ohio Reference Excellence on the Web, Module 2, Readers’ Advisory Interview http://www.olc.org/ore/2readers.htm The Reference Interview: A Common-Sense Reviewhttp://infopeople.org/sites/all/files/past/2004/reference/ASCLAALAref_interview.pdf InfoPeople Webinar – The Reference Interview: Time for a Tune-up http://infopeople.org/training/reference-interview-time-tune Internet Public Library, Frequently Asked Reference Questions http://www.ipl.org/div/farq/
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