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Pathfinders to Information: Administering Reference Service in School Libraries

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  • 1. Pathfinders to Information Administering school library reference services LIB 640 Information Sources and Services Summer 2014
  • 2. July 20, 2014 Pathfinders to Information 2 What is reference service? • reference services – All the functions performed by a trained librarian employed in the reference section of a library to meet the information needs of patrons (in person, by telephone, or electronically), including but not limited to answering substantive questions, instructing users in the selection and use of appropriate tools and techniques for finding information, conducting searches on behalf of the patron, directing users to the location of library resources, assisting in the evaluation of information, referring patrons to resources outside the library when appropriate, keeping reference statistics, and participating in the development of the reference collection. For an online guide to reference services, see the tutorial ORE on the Web, courtesy of the Ohio Library Council. • Online Dictionary of Library Science http://www.abc-clio.com/ODLIS/odlis_r.aspx#refservices
  • 3. July 20, 2014 Pathfinders to Information 3 Elements of Reference Service • From ODLIS definition: – performed by a trained librarian – [Designed] to meet the information needs of patrons – answering substantive questions (and less substantive!) – instructing users in the selection and use of appropriate tools and techniques for finding information – conducting searches on behalf of the patron – directing users to the location of library resources – assisting in the evaluation of information – referring patrons to resources outside the library when appropriate – keeping reference statistics – participating in the development of the reference collection
  • 4. July 20, 2014 Pathfinders to Information 4 What is a Reference Collection? • ODLIS: – Books containing authoritative information not meant to be read cover to cover, such as dictionaries, handbooks, and encyclopedias, shelved together by call number in a special section of the library called the reference stacks. Reference books may not be checked out because they are needed by librarians to answer questions at the reference desk. Their location and circulation status is usually indicated by the symbol “R” or “Ref” preceding the call number in the catalog record and on the spine label. See also: ready reference. • http://www.abc-clio.com/ODLIS/odlis_r.aspx#refcollection
  • 5. July 20, 2014 Pathfinders to Information 5 Is the Collection the Books Only? • Managing and Analyzing Your Collection: A Practical Guide for Small Libraries and School Media Centers (ALA, 2002): – To think of your collection only within the physical boundaries of your library will create a limited view of the collection. You need to consider availability and accessibility when defining your collections. • Carol A. Doll and Pamela Petrick Barron.
  • 6. July 20, 2014 Pathfinders to Information 6 Accessibility and Availability? • Availability: – “If a resource is available, that simply means it exists and can be located.” • Accessibility: – “For a resource to be accessible, it must be physically present.” • Doll and Barron, Managing and Analyzing Your Collection
  • 7. July 20, 2014 Pathfinders to Information 7 What about being virtually present? • Accessibility means more than physical access: – The ease with which a person may enter a library, gain access to its online systems, use its resources, and obtain needed information regardless of format. In a more general sense, the quality of being able to be located and used by a person. In the Web environment, the quality of being usable by everyone regardless of disability. See the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). – http://www.abc-clio.com/ODLIS/odlis_A.aspx#accessibility
  • 8. July 20, 2014 Pathfinders to Information 8 Do we still need books? • A.B.Credaro (the “Warrior Librarian”) – In a significant number of schools, there have been reductions in library funding, in favour of increasing the number of computers in libraries. Aging reference books are not being replaced, due to the flawed rationale that Internet access has negated the necessity for such print material. – The value of the Internet as a communication tool is beyond dispute. However, it can also be a time-consuming, frustrating, or misleading reference source. • Now that we've got the Internet, why do we need Libraries? A.B.Credaro © 2007. Last update August 1, 2007.
  • 9. An update to bookless discussion • Do School Libraries Need Books? – . . . students roam the stacks less and less because they find it so much more efficient to work online. One school, Cushing Academy, made news last fall when it announced that it would give away most of its 20,000 books and transform its library into a digital center. – Do schools need to maintain traditional libraries? What are the educational consequences of having students read less on the printed page and more on the Web? • February 10, 2010, 7:00 pm • See also Doug Johnson’s blog post, What is a library without books? from February 11, 2010 July 20, 2014 Pathfinders to Information 9
  • 10. July 20, 2014 Pathfinders to Information 10 Collection Development • ODLIS: – The process of planning and building a useful and balanced collection of library materials over a period of years, based on an ongoing assessment of the information needs of the library's clientele, analysis of usage statistics, and demographic projections, normally constrained by budgetary limitations. Collection development includes the formulation of selection criteria, planning for resource sharing, and replacement of lost and damaged items, as well as routine selection and deselection decisions. • http://www.abc-clio.com/ODLIS/odlis_c.aspx#collecdevel
  • 11. July 20, 2014 Pathfinders to Information 11 What are the phases of collection development? • The phases of collection development include: – Learning Community Analysis – Collection Analysis: • Collection Mapping, Inventory – Selection – Budgeting Process: • Budget Planning, Acquisition, Accounting, Funding Sources – Collection Maintenance & Weeding – Reconsideration
  • 12. July 20, 2014 Pathfinders to Information 12 Selection • ODLIS: – The process of deciding which materials should be added to a library collection. Selection decisions are usually made on the basis of reviews and standard collection development tools by librarians designated as selectors in specific subject areas, based on their interests and fields of specialization. In academic libraries, selection may also be done by members of the teaching faculty in their disciplines. Very large academic and public libraries may use an approval plan or blanket order plan to assist selectors. Library patrons also recommend titles for purchase, especially in libraries that provide a suggestion box. The opposite of deselection. See also: selection aid and selection criteria. • http://www.abc-clio.com/ODLIS/odlis_s.aspx#selection
  • 13. July 20, 2014 Pathfinders to Information 13 Materials Review and Selection • Materials review and selection go hand in hand – To make the best use of funding, the media specialist must work collaboratively with the teachers to identify needs, review existing resources, select new materials, and build effective learning environments. – The key is creating positive working relationships so that the best possible materials are available for students in a timely manner. • http://eduscapes.com/sms/access/selection.html
  • 14. July 20, 2014 Pathfinders to Information 14 Check Your Understanding – Describe a unit and specific standards. Discuss what types of materials in the library media center might be used in the unit. What kinds of activities would require library media resources? – Create a mini-map of the area of the collection. Look for strength and weak areas. Consider the reading level, development level, and interests of the students. – Develop a set of criteria for evaluating materials. Open the Word Document titled Selection Criteria. Use this as the basis for your own checklist. • http://eduscapes.com/sms/access/selection.html
  • 15. July 20, 2014 Pathfinders to Information 15 School Library Guidelines • Empowering Learners: – The school library media program models an inquiry-based approach to learning and the information search process. (p. 25) – The school library media program includes a well-developed collection of books, periodicals, and non-print material in a variety of formats that support curricular topics and are suited to inquiry learning and users’ needs and interests. (p. 38).
  • 16. The newest national standards July 20, 2014 Pathfinders to Information 16 Standards for the 21st- Century Learner offer vision for teaching and learning to both guide and beckon our profession as education leaders. They will both shape the library program and serve as a tool for library media specialists to use to shape the learning of students in the school. http://www.ala.org/aasl/standards-guidelines/learning-standards
  • 17. July 20, 2014 Pathfinders to Information 17 State Standards • Kentucky: – Academic Expectation 1.1: – Students use reference tools such as dictionaries, almanacs, encyclopedias, and computer reference programs and research tools such as interviews and surveys to find the information they need to meet specific demands, explore interests, or solve specific problems.
  • 18. July 20, 2014 18 Kentucky Standards Download the rubric as a pdf file here
  • 19. CHETL in KY School Libraries July 20, 2014 Pathfinders to Information 19 http://education.ky.gov/curriculum/docs/Documents/LibraryMediaCHETL.docx
  • 20. Other States: Tennessee July 20, 2014 Pathfinders to Information 20
  • 21. July 20, 2014 Pathfinders to Information 21 Collection Development Policies • Crucial: – Every school system should have a comprehensive policy on the selection of instructional materials. It should relate to and include all materials; for example, textbooks, library books, periodicals, films, videocassettes, records, audiocassettes, and CDs. The reason should be obvious: haphazard patterns of acquisition will result in waste because some— perhaps many—materials will overlap in content, or will be unrelated to changing patterns of instruction. •ALA Workbook for Selection Policy Writing: Why Do I Need A Policy?
  • 22. July 20, 2014 Pathfinders to Information 22 Selection Tools for Reference Collections Atlas and Dictionary Update: 2010 Requires subscription http://www.booklistonline.com/
  • 23. July 20, 2014 Pathfinders to Information 23 More Selection Tools • Reference and User Services Quarterly – An annual “abridged” version of American Reference Books Annual, affectionately known as ARBA • Recommended Reference Books for Small and Medium-Sized Libraries and Media Centers http://rusa.metapress.com/
  • 24. July 20, 2014 Pathfinders to Information 24 Online Guides What is Titlewave? Titlewave is the most powerful collection development and curriculum support tool available online. Using Titlewave you can create, store, and print lists, get price quotes, and order online. Browse TitleWise® Online Collection Analysis Questions http://www.ala.org/rusa/awards/outstandingreferencesources
  • 25. July 20, 2014 Pathfinders to Information 25 Weeding http://www.powershow.com/view/1aaf2- MDNiO/How_to_Weed_Your_Library_Collection_Without_Losing_Your_Mind_ powerpoint_ppt_presentation
  • 26. July 20, 2014 Pathfinders to Information 26 Evaluating Reference Service • Common methods include: – Counts of reference questions – Periodic inspection of reference section – Survey of user satisfaction/willingness to return – Observation of performance: • Obtrusive: Someone sits and watches (or makes a video of) the librarian • Unobtrusive: Use of “mystery patron”, where student proxies ask prepared questions and the librarian has no idea this is an observation – See “Reference Evaluation: An Overview” in Assessment and Accountability in Reference Work. Ed. Susan Blandy, Lynee Martine, Mary Strife. New York: Haworth Press, 1992. 141- 150 and Reference Librarian. 38 (1992) 151-73
  • 27. July 20, 2014 Pathfinders to Information 27 Marketing Reference Service • Advocacy – . . . It’s important to ask yourself: What are you really advocating, marketing, or promoting? Yourself, your program, your teachers, information, or lifelong learning? What's the purpose of the activity? How will the outcomes of the activity impact students? How does it relate to your mission? • Promotion • Events • Change: Innovating Practices and Evolving Roles • Reflection • Read Toolkit for School Library Media Programs from the @your library campaign.
  • 28. July 20, 2014 Pathfinders to Information 28 A Reference Service Management Assignment • Your school has decided to add a special emphasis for this school year on LGBQT. For your school library media center, assess your needs, current collection and requirements for updating the reference collection in this area. Would you do this with print resources or online only? What will you do if your choices are challenged? How will you plan your provision of reference service? How would you market it? What would be your policy regarding sources on same-sex relationships and marriage?

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