<ul><li>Best Practices – </li></ul><ul><li>The Reference Interview </li></ul><ul><li>Librarians know that the reference interview is necessary so we can help the patron to the best of our ability. </li></ul><ul><li>But how? </li></ul>Ask A Librarian Info. Session
1) Acknowledge the patron with a greeting. 2) Restate or rephrase the question. This shows the patron that we saw their question and also enables the patron to see if that is really what he/she wanted to ask. Sometimes it even gives you time to start searching. 3) Clarify. Find out if that is specifically what the patron wants. Use open-ended questions to avoid playing 20 questions. I.e.: Where has the patron searched? How will the information be used?
4) Keep the patron informed. Let the patron know what you are doing and check often that the patron understands. 5) Explain the answer. Tell the patron what you are sending and why. Explain where on the page he/she should be looking. 6) Check with the patron. Ask the patron if that completely answers the question. Even when you are positive that you have sent the perfect source, the patron may have something different in mind but has not expressed it clearly.
7) Ask if there is anything else needed at this time. This question allows the patron to ask for more on the previous topic or to move on to another question. Most importantly, it indicates continued helpfulness on the part of the librarian. - Closing. Thank the patron for using the service and invite him/her to return. - Throughout the session, pay attention to the patron’s words. If you don’t understand what he/she is saying, ask for clarification.