Reference Interviews: Where the fun never ends

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Reference Interviews: Where the fun never ends

  1. 1. Reference Interviews: Where the fun never ends!<br />
  2. 2. Congrats. You work in an awesome library<br />
  3. 3. That means you get to answer questions. <br /> Lots and lots and lots of questions . . .<br />
  4. 4. Some questions are easy. In fact, most are pretty self explanatory. <br />For example. . .<br />
  5. 5. Where is the bathroom?<br />
  6. 6. How do I print?orHow do I print to the plotter?orHow come I paid for a print and it never showed up?or. . . .(you’ll spend a lot of time with printers)<br />
  7. 7. Sometimes, they are more complicated.<br />
  8. 8. That’s why we have reference interviews!<br />
  9. 9. That’s why we have reference interviews!<br />So, what is a reference interview?<br />
  10. 10. According to wikipedia: <br />A reference interview is a structured conversation between a librarian and a library user, usually at a reference desk, in which the librarian responds to the user's initial explanation of his or her information need by first attempting to clarify that need and then by directing the user to appropriate information resources.<br />
  11. 11. Huh?<br />
  12. 12. Here’s what’s wrong with that definition:<br />A conversation isn’t structured<br />There is much more to it than clarification and referral<br />A reference interview is about getting to the realproblem<br />But I’ll give them credit, it’s a hard thing to define. You’ll know it when you see it. <br />
  13. 13. Think of it as detective work.<br />We are trying to find the real problem and solve it. <br />
  14. 14. Remember, people are shy.<br />The may not tell you what they really want. <br />
  15. 15. Or they may just not know about all of the great resources we have.<br />
  16. 16. So, without further delay. I present to you, a reference interview. <br />
  17. 17. Pardon me, do you have any good books on performing Heists?<br />
  18. 18. Sure, do you want just books orwould articles work too?<br />(all librarians wear cardigans) <br />
  19. 19. Well, I guess articles would work.<br />
  20. 20. No problem. Is this for a class? How many sources might you need? <br />(all librarians wear cardigans) <br />
  21. 21. Yes, it’s for a class. My Heist Professor says we need 5-6 sources. <br />
  22. 22. Great. We have books on the subject, but we can find more journal articles. <br />Heists are pretty broad? Do you have a specific part of heists you are interested in?<br />(all librarians wear cardigans) <br />
  23. 23. I guess so. I’m most interested in high-society jewel heists. <br />
  24. 24. Cool. We’ll start with a database called Academic Search. This is a good introductory database. We’ll use the search terms: “heist*” (the * will search for “heist” and “heists” etc.) and “jewel*”.<br />In case you are wondering this search works and delivers 76 results. <br /><br />(all librarians wear cardigans) <br />
  25. 25. Splendid! You have solved all of my problems. I’m leaving the world of crime (after one final job).<br />
  26. 26. See what just happened?<br />He claimed he just wanted a book. But with a few questions we learned:<br />That this is an assignment<br />That he needs several sources<br />That journal articles and books would both work <br />That the patron may not have used databases before (since he never mentioned them).<br />The subject may be too broad and can be narrowed<br />
  27. 27. There is great power in the reference interview<br />
  28. 28. Getting Started<br />As they say, attitude is everything. So here’s how to begin any interaction with a patron.<br />
  29. 29. Be Friendly and open to inquiries while at the desk<br />
  30. 30. Be able to listen to the patron<br />
  31. 31. Treat all patrons’ questions with respect<br />
  32. 32. Determining Information Needs<br />Attitude is important, but now it is time to see how to actually perform a reference interview. <br />
  33. 33. Good afternoon, madam. I need to prove that I can transport a steel-framed automaton to Belgium via balloon flight. <br />
  34. 34. Phase 2: Determining Information Needs<br />Know that the patron may not always be asking for what they are really looking for. <br />
  35. 35. I would be happy to help you find that. Is this for a specific project? Or do you just need to know about how different types of flying machines handle weight?<br />(all librarians wear cardigans) <br />
  36. 36. Ah, yes. This is for my aeronautics class. My instructor has posed a dilemma about the best way to transfer large heavy objects. <br />
  37. 37. Phase 2: Determining Information Needs<br />Know that the patron may not always be asking for what they are really looking for. <br />Be able to ask questions that will clarify the patron’s information needs. <br />
  38. 38. In that case, we may want to look up some books or articles about the engineering and physics of balloon-based transportation.<br />Does that sound like what you need?<br />(all librarians wear cardigans) <br />
  39. 39. By jove, that would be splendid. However, I feel that a focus on real world mechanics would be even better. I’m most interested in zeppelin-based solutions. Do we have anything on that?<br />
  40. 40. Phase 2: Determining Information Needs<br />Know that the patron may not always be asking for what they are really looking for. <br />Be able to ask questions that will clarify the patron’s information needs. <br />Keep a positive attitude, even when you can’t find anything.<br />
  41. 41. We can certainly look for information specifically about zeppelins. <br />Hmmm, I’m having a hard time finding anything. However, I’m certain there is information, I’ll just need to spend a little time looking. <br />(all librarians wear cardigans) <br />
  42. 42. That is certainly fine. I knew this problem would be particularly vexing, but given the delicate nature of the automaton, I know that the smooth zeppelin travel would be best. <br />
  43. 43. Phase 2: Determining Information Needs<br />Know that the patron may not always be asking for what they are really looking for. <br />Be able to ask questions that will clarify the patron’s information needs. <br />Keep a positive attitude, even when you can’t find anything.<br />Know to get contact information from a patron for follow-up (phone number, email, name, etc.). <br />
  44. 44. This may take awhile. Can I please have your name and an email in case I cannot find anything immediately. <br />(all librarians wear cardigans) <br />
  45. 45. Of course, my name is Phineas J. Wellington III. You may send a telegram to the Commodore Suites if you find any relevant information. <br />
  46. 46. Phase 2: Determining Information Needs<br />Know that the patron may not always be asking for what they are really looking for. <br />Be able to ask questions that will clarify the patron’s information needs. <br />Keep a positive attitude, even when you can’t find anything.<br />Know to get contact information from a patron for follow-up (phone number, email, name, etc.). <br />Be able to recognize when a patron should be referred to a librarian. <br />
  47. 47. Sidebar: When to Refer<br />
  48. 48. When to refer:<br />If you feel like you are not truly answering the patron’s question, but you are confident there is an answer out there, it is time to refer. <br />
  49. 49. When to refer:<br />If a a full-time librarian is available, refer the question to the full-time staff member.<br />If a MERIT librarian is not available and the question is general. Use Ask-a-Librarian or call College or Memorial.<br />If a MERIT librarian is not available. Write down all relevant information about the question and a contact name and email address then email the information on to a full-time staff. Let the patron know they should receive a response by the next working day. <br />
  50. 50. I can’t seem to find any information. I will pass on your question to a full-time staff member and they will get a hold of you tomorrow and let you know what they can find. <br />(all librarians wear cardigans) <br />
  51. 51. Phase 2: Determining Information Needs<br />Know that the patron may not always be asking for what they are really looking for. <br />Be able to ask questions that will clarify the patron’s information needs. <br />Keep a positive attitude, even when you can’t find anything.<br />Know to get contact information from a patron for follow-up (phone number, email, name, etc.). <br />Be able to recognize when a patron should be referred to a librarian.<br />Follow-up. Check to see if question has been answered or anything else. <br />
  52. 52. Hello Phineas, I had a chance to work on your question. I’ve found a nice article in Aeronautics Quarterly about Zeppelin weight-bearing capabilities. In addition, I’m including a link to a Jing video showing how I searched for the article. It looks like there may be some other articles of interest. <br />Does that help? Is there anything else you need? <br />(all librarians wear cardigans)<br />
  53. 53. Thanks for the video, that included some excellent articles on stabilizing the cabin. That’s exactly the information I was looking for. Thank you. <br />
  54. 54. Refining Searches and Demonstrating<br />Reference interview do not necessarily take place immediately at the beginning of interaction. (In fact, they rarely do). Often it is during the searching process that a user will begin to communicate their real needs or else will recognize that there is not as much information as they previously expected (or that there is too much and they need to be more specific). <br />
  55. 55. Hello, I teach potions at a certain school for children with, um, unique talents. I need information about teaching strategies. <br />
  56. 56. Phase 3: Refining Strategies<br />Know when it is appropriate to teach a patron how to use a research tool. <br />
  57. 57. No problem. Do you want a few articles or books? <br /> All librarians wear cardigans. <br />
  58. 58. Well, I guess I need a lot. I just started in the Ph.D. program here. <br />
  59. 59. Phase 3: Refining Strategies<br />Know when it is appropriate to teach a patron how to use a research tool.<br />Be able to assess the situation (time frame, desperation, patron’s technology skills, future needs).<br />
  60. 60. Well, in that case let me show you a few databases. Have you ever used ERIC or Education Fulltext before?<br /> All librarians wear cardigans. <br />
  61. 61. No, I’m afraid not. Usually the books I need just seem to appear. <br />
  62. 62. No problem. We’ll start with ERIC. You’ll used that database more than any other. The ideas are pretty much the same in other databases, but if you want we can schedule an appointment to go over the other databases in more detail. <br /> All librarians wear cardigans. <br />
  63. 63. Well, I can’t stay for too long, so let’s just look at one for now. <br />
  64. 64. Great. So we’ll go into ERIC and I’ll do a search for a couple of keywords. We’ll start by searching for “teach*” (which will get teaching, teachers, etc.) and “strateg*”.<br /> All librarians wear cardigans. <br />
  65. 65. What do you think about these results?<br /> All librarians wear cardigans. <br />
  66. 66. Hmm, those don’t look quite right. Everything is about national strategies, I need a few things about specific classroom instruction. <br />
  67. 67. Phase 3: Refining Strategies<br />Know when it is appropriate to teach a patron how to use a research tool.<br />Be able to assess the situation (time frame, desperation, patron’s technology skills, future needs)<br />Be able to constantly refine your search and use the appropriate tools.<br />
  68. 68. No problem. Let’s try getting a little more specific. I suspect potions is a lot like teaching chemistry, so we’ll add “scien*” to find articles about teaching science. <br /> All librarians wear cardigans. <br />
  69. 69. How about result #2. Does that look better? <br /> All librarians wear cardigans. <br />
  70. 70. Well, that’s closer, but it still doesn’t quite get what I want. I need information about how you need to alter your teaching based on the abilities of the students. Experienced potion makers can work on harder projects and less experienced can work on simpler projects.<br />
  71. 71. Phase 3: Refining Strategies<br />Know when it is appropriate to teach a patron how to use a research tool.<br />Be able to assess the situation (time frame, desperation, patron’s technology skills, future needs)<br />Be able to constantly refine your search and use the appropriate tools.<br />Know when and who to collaborate with when you need help.<br />Know to ask an available MERIT Librarian<br />
  72. 72. Ok. Well, at least we are getting closer. Let me go find a full-time staff member, they may be able to think of some better search terms. <br /> All librarians wear cardigans. <br />
  73. 73. Hi, so I think I have an idea of what you need. You are looking for information on differentiated instruction. Let’s search for “differentiate*” and “scien*”<br /> All librarians wear cardigans. <br />
  74. 74. Oh, numbers 4-6 look very useful. Thank you very much. Also, do you have any copies of Advanced Potion Making? Any potion book that utilizes the 4 sigma method will work. <br />
  75. 75. Phase 3: Refining Strategies<br />Know when it is appropriate to teach a patron how to use a research tool.<br />Be able to assess the situation (time frame, desperation, patron’s technology skills, future needs)<br />Be able to constantly refine your search and use the appropriate tools.<br />Know when and who to collaborate with when you need help.<br />Know to ask an available MERIT Librarian.<br />Know when to refer a patron to an expert outside of MERIT to another library (See referral training for more).<br />
  76. 76. It doesn’t look like we do in MadCat. We mostly have books for middle and high school education. Let me write down the name of, I guess, the chemistry library. They should be able to help you. <br /> All librarians wear cardigans. <br />
  77. 77. Congratulations. You have mastered the reference interview. <br />
  78. 78. Now to review:<br />Be Friendly and open to all inquiries<br />- - - - - ><br />Be able to listen to patrons<br />< - - - - - <br />Treat all patrons’ questions with respect .<br />- - - - - ><br />
  79. 79. Now to review:<br />Know that the patron may not always be asking for what they really need. <br />- - - - - ><br />Be able to ask questions that will clarify the patron’s needs.<br />< - - - - - <br />Keep a positive attitude, even when you can’t find anything.<br />- - - - - ><br />
  80. 80. Now to review:<br />Know to get contact information for a follow-up.<br />- - - - - ><br />Be able to recognize when a patron should be referred to a librarian. <br />< - - - - - <br />Follow-up. Check to see if the question has been answered.<br />- - - - - ><br />
  81. 81. Now to review:<br />Know when it is appropriate to teach a patron how to use a research tool.<br />- - - - - ><br />Be able to refine your search and use the appropriate tools. <br />< - - - - - <br />Know when to collaborate and when to refer a patron to an outside expert. <br />- - - - - ><br />
  82. 82. Thanks. Go forth and be awesome. <br />
  83. 83. Photo Credits<br />All photos are available under the creative commons license and are used following those guidelines. <br />Slide 1: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hauntedpalace/33897414/sizes/z/in/photostream/<br />Slide 2: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebottomlesspaddlingpool/5452249191/sizes/z/in/photostream/<br />Slide 3: http://www.flickr.com/photos/room_onfire/403830495/sizes/z/in/photostream/<br />Slide 5: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinsteele/27160701/sizes/z/in/photostream/<br />Sllide 6: http://www.flickr.com/photos/20561948@N00/2468544869/<br />Slide 7: http://www.flickr.com/photos/17731548@N00/2266595868/<br />Slide 11: http://www.flickr.com/photos/iamthebestartist/77800827/sizes/z/in/photostream/<br />Slide 13: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dippy_duck/401285328/sizes/z/in/photostream/<br />Slide 14: http://www.flickr.com/photos/leftwinglucy/2593290540/sizes/l/in/photostream/<br />Slide 15: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ttcopley/4888735875/sizes/z/in/photostream/<br />Slide 17:http://www.flickr.com/photos/chapter3/3939316965/sizes/z/in/photostream/<br />Slide 18: http://www.flickr.com/photos/killcaustic/2975877883/sizes/m/in/photostream/<br />Slide 27: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dunechaser/1228011889/sizes/l/in/photostream/<br />Slide 29: http://www.flickr.com/photos/geoftheref/2582782439/sizes/l/in/photostream/<br />Slide 30: http://www.flickr.com/photos/seanomalone/109538354/sizes/z/in/photostream/<br />Slide 31: http://www.flickr.com/photos/st3f4n/3556697439/sizes/l/in/photostream/<br />Slide 33: http://www.flickr.com/photos/27594459@N04/5205420454/sizes/l/in/photostream/<br />Slide 35: http://www.flickr.com/photos/suziesparkle/3976301729/sizes/l/in/photostream/<br />Slide 47: http://www.flickr.com/photos/articulatematter/3702375051/sizes/l/in/photostream/<br />Slide 55: http://www.flickr.com/photos/oldpatterns/5495689503/sizes/l/in/photostream/<br />Slide 57: http://www.flickr.com/photos/julietbanana/3962178544/sizes/l/in/photostream/<br />Slide 73: http://www.flickr.com/photos/julietbanana/3962179698/sizes/l/in/photostream/<br />Slide 77: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zubrow/5515125157/sizes/l/in/photostream/<br />Slide 79: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mngyver/339496610/sizes/z/in/photostream/<br />Slide 80: http://www.flickr.com/photos/badwsky/532871465/sizes/z/in/photostream/<br />Slide 81: http://www.flickr.com/photos/donpezzano/3299259102/sizes/z/in/photostream/<br />Slide 82: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wizzer/5530499075/sizes/l/in/photostream/<br />This was developed by Joe Morgan and is available under CC license.<br />

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