Important things to remember when conducting Reference Work Created by Kathryn Poland
Role as a librarian: Must be ethical in our behavior even when there are not clear cut choices. We are largely responsible for monitoring our own behavior We must help students in the Reference process and be willing to show them how to find their answer. Here are some goals to remember when assisting students through the reference process.
Goal #1: Respect all patrons Do not intimidate students Use nonverbal cues correctly Do not discriminate based on Clothes Conduct Characteristics in general
Goal #2: Set priorities during reference queries Handle request in the order they are received Request made in-house receive first attention Do not give unfair preference due to Use of certain medium (phone, e-mail, etc.) Time limitations
Goal #3: Be thorough in the search technique Students will accept whatever service the librarian provides It is the librarian’s duty to offer options if the answer in incomplete Interlibrary loan or other remote location Finding a more complete answer will require more time and effort.
Goal #4: When dealing with controversial issues, both sides must be considered. Follow the Library Bill of Rights We must deal with social norms that usually dictate against the consideration of the minority viewpoint If we don’t consider both sides then we erode the foundation of the democratic process.
Goal #5: Hours that serve the students Hours should mirror the school hours A professional librarian should be available during the times that the library is open.
Goal #6: Teaching should be woven into the information gathering process. School libraries should work towards developing life-long learners Reference work involves two jobs: Provide answers to queries Teach the skill necessary for students to be self-sufficient in finding information
Goal #7: Must remember user’s rights. Library Bill of Rights gives minors the same rights as adults Any information in the library should be made available for students to access.
Goal #8: Paying for services Try not to charge students for computer printout, photocopying, etc. Why? School is already supported by taxes Not all students are able to pay for services.