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Pathfinders to Information: 2003 version


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  • 1. LIB 640 Information Sources and ServicesSummer 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
    Administering school library reference services
  • 2. July 24, 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
    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. . . . See also: collaborative reference, cooperative reference, digital reference, ready reference, and Reference and User Services Association.
    Online Dictionary of Library Science
  • 3. July 24, 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
    Elements of Reference Service
    From ODLIS definition:
    performed by a trained librarian
    [Designed] to meet the information needs of patrons
    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
    participating in the development of the reference collection
  • 4. July 24, 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
    What is a Reference Collection?
    Books containing authoritativeinformation 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.
  • 5. July 24, 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
    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 24, 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
    Accessibility and Availability?
    “If a resource is available, that simply means it exists and can be located.”
    “For a resource to be accessible, it must be physically present.”
    Doll and Barron, Managing and Analyzing Your Collection
  • 7. July 24, 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
    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).
  • 8. July 24, 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
    Do we still need books?
    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?
  • 9. July 24, 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
    Collection Development
    The process of planning and building a useful and balancedcollection 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 damageditems, as well as routine selection and deselection decisions.
  • 10. July 24, 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
    What are the phases of collection development?
    The phases of collection development include:
    Learning Community Analysis
    Collection Analysis:
    Collection Mapping, Inventory
    Budgeting Process:
    Budget Planning, Acquisition, Accounting, Funding Sources
    Collection Maintenance & Weeding
  • 11. July 24, 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
    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.
  • 12. July 24, 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
    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.
  • 13. July 24, 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
    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.
  • 14. July 24, 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
    School Library Standards
    Information Power:
    The Nine Information Literacy Standards for Student Learning do not explicitly address reference service as such.
    Standard 3 is relevant here, however:
    The student who is information literate uses information accurately and creatively.
  • 15. The newest national standards
    July 24, 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
    Standards for the 21st-Century Learneroffer 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.
  • 16. July 24, 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
    State Standards
    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.
  • 17. July 24, 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
    Kentucky Standards for LMC
    Service Areas of the Library Media Center
    This main area should be centrally located. Flexible areas should be provided for large and small groups, individual study, and leisure reading. A storytelling area should also be included at the elementary level. Within the reference area (and/or other areas of the LMC) computers, phone lines and data drops must be available for network CD-ROM access, other database access and telecommunications. The main facility should be at least 50-75% of the total square footage.
    Beyond Proficiency: Essentials of a Distinguished Library Media Program, p. 42
  • 18. July 24, 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
    Other States
    The library media center’s reference collection may consist of a variety of formats including print, nonprint, and electronic items. . . . Reference collections in print and electronic formats at all grade levels should de-emphasize multivolume general reference encyclopedias and focus on subject-related reference resources such as field guides, travel guides, collective biographies, almanacs, general and specialized dictionaries and encyclopedias, geographical resources, directories, and bibliographies.
    Standards for Missouri School Library Media Centers, p. 9-10
  • 19. July 24, 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
    Collection Development Policies
    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
  • 20. A Sample Kentucky Policy
    Collection Development Policy for Williamstown Jr/. Sr. High School Library Media Center
    [This] collection development policy and procedures manual is to serve professional faculty and staff at Williamstown Jr./Sr. High School School.  It is solely for the use of aforementioned school and provides an overview of general processing, selection and weeding policies and procedures. 
    July 24, 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
  • 21. July 24, 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
    Selection Tools for Reference Collections
  • 22. July 24, 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
    More Selection Tools
    Reference and User Services Quarterly
    • Recommended Reference Books for Small and Medium-Sized Libraries and Media Centers
    • 23. An annual “abridged” version of American Reference Books Annual, affectionately known as ARBA
  • July 24, 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
    Online Guides
    Doug’s Student Reference Room
    Doug Achterman brings you the best in K-12 online and print reference resources.
    Use TITLEWAVE to search for books and audiovisual materials, build and store lists, and order online.Use TitleWise to identify the strengths & weaknesses of school & district collections.
  • 24. July 24, 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
    Look for items (print and non-print) that are not current and that include information that is out-of-date, inaccurate, or misleading. Any title that implies currency (Today, Modern, etc.) should be examined critically. This decision should be based on the content of the item, not the cost or good physical condition. Books with appropriate and accurate content but in bad physical condition should be repaired or weeded.
  • 25. July 24, 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
    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
  • 26. July 24, 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
    Marketing Reference Service
    . . . 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?
    Change: Innovating Practices and Evolving Roles
    Read Toolkit for School Library Media Programs for the @your library campaign.
  • 27. July 24, 2009
    Pathfinders to Information
    A Reference Service Management Assignment
    Your school has decided to add a special emphasis for this school year on sex education. For your school library media center, assess your needs, current collection and requirements for updating the reference collection in this area. What will you do if your choices are challenged? How will you plan your provision of reference service? How would you market it?