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Tips on Answering Reference Questions, or How to Wing It Version 2.0 Beth Brown 6/29/07
What to Do <ul><li>Reference Interview:  Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Showing library (Internet) materials:  Instructio...
Reference Interview <ul><li>Greet person </li></ul><ul><li>Ask them what they need help with </li></ul><ul><li>Person cann...
How to get information <ul><li>Answer the original question(s), then sense if person needs more help </li></ul><ul><li>Rep...
Reference Question Types <ul><li>Directional  </li></ul><ul><li>Database Access </li></ul><ul><li>Reference </li></ul><ul>...
Directional <ul><li>Campus </li></ul><ul><li>Local Community </li></ul><ul><li>People </li></ul><ul><li>Services </li></ul...
Database Access <ul><li>Use when locating a library database or using web navigation to answer a reference question </li><...
Reference - Instruction <ul><li>Use when  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Demonstrating a database </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comple...
Reference – Ready Reference <ul><li>Factual Questions </li></ul><ul><li>Almanacs – online and print </li></ul><ul><li>Web ...
Reference - Research <ul><li>Use when </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Locating articles, books, etc. on a research topic </li></ul><...
Database Access <ul><li>Identify topic with a subject: </li></ul>Psychology – PsychInfo Physics – INSPEC Nursing - CINAHL ...
Database Access <ul><li>Humanities </li></ul><ul><li>Social Sciences </li></ul>
Database Access – Search Tips <ul><li>Start with a keyword search: </li></ul><ul><li>Use 1,2, 3 words or phrases to descri...
Technical Problems <ul><li>IT (Information Technology) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Software applications (MS Office, etc.) </li>...
Technical Problems (2) <ul><li>Printing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quota printing – IC printers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Paid...
Technical Problems (3) <ul><li>Computers:  </li></ul><ul><li>File types </li></ul><ul><li>Word   .doc </li></ul><ul><li>Ex...
Technical Problems (5) <ul><li>Logging into computers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PODs username and password </li></ul></ul><ul>...
Style Guides and Citing Sources <ul><li>Guide to Style Manuals </li></ul><ul><li>Popular Citation Formats: </li></ul><ul><...
What if you can’t answer a question? <ul><li>Pause, think about the search / approach </li></ul><ul><li>Try the search aga...
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Tips On Answering Reference Questions 6 25 07

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Tips On Answering Reference Questions 6 25 07

  1. 1. Tips on Answering Reference Questions, or How to Wing It Version 2.0 Beth Brown 6/29/07
  2. 2. What to Do <ul><li>Reference Interview: Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Showing library (Internet) materials: Instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Connecting them with appropriate person: Referral </li></ul>
  3. 3. Reference Interview <ul><li>Greet person </li></ul><ul><li>Ask them what they need help with </li></ul><ul><li>Person cannot always express what they want / need </li></ul><ul><li>Asking for details: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the information for – a course, subject, or project? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How soon do they need it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What else have they tried? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are they affiliated with BU? </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. How to get information <ul><li>Answer the original question(s), then sense if person needs more help </li></ul><ul><li>Repeat question back to patron </li></ul>
  5. 5. Reference Question Types <ul><li>Directional </li></ul><ul><li>Database Access </li></ul><ul><li>Reference </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructional </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ready Reference </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Information – Research </li></ul><ul><li>Technical Problems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>IT </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Electronic Access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Printing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Photocopying </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Directional <ul><li>Campus </li></ul><ul><li>Local Community </li></ul><ul><li>People </li></ul><ul><li>Services </li></ul><ul><li>Most of these questions can be answered by the campus directory or phone book </li></ul><ul><li>Referral: BU Campus Information 7-2000 </li></ul>
  7. 7. Database Access <ul><li>Use when locating a library database or using web navigation to answer a reference question </li></ul><ul><li>metaLINK – BU Only databases </li></ul><ul><li>Library Subject Web pages </li></ul><ul><li>Web Search Engines page </li></ul>
  8. 8. Reference - Instruction <ul><li>Use when </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Demonstrating a database </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Completing a form </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Reference – Ready Reference <ul><li>Factual Questions </li></ul><ul><li>Almanacs – online and print </li></ul><ul><li>Web Search Engines – Google, Yahoo, Exalead, Clusty, Ask </li></ul><ul><li>BU main Web Page – search box </li></ul><ul><li>BU Main Web Page – Information, About Menus </li></ul>
  10. 10. Reference - Research <ul><li>Use when </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Locating articles, books, etc. on a research topic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Need specialized information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Frequently use BUonly materials </li></ul></ul><ul><li>metaLINK </li></ul><ul><li>Subject Web Pages </li></ul>
  11. 11. Database Access <ul><li>Identify topic with a subject: </li></ul>Psychology – PsychInfo Physics – INSPEC Nursing - CINAHL Medicine – Medline, PubMed Mathematics – MathSciNet Environmental Studies – Onefile, Proquest Engineering – Compendix, INSPEC Geology, Maps – GeoRefS Chemistry – Beilstein Crossfire, Scifinder Scholar (Chemical Abstracts) Biology – BIOSIS
  12. 12. Database Access <ul><li>Humanities </li></ul><ul><li>Social Sciences </li></ul>
  13. 13. Database Access – Search Tips <ul><li>Start with a keyword search: </li></ul><ul><li>Use 1,2, 3 words or phrases to describe topic </li></ul><ul><li>Think of alternate words to express topic </li></ul><ul><li>Eliminate terms if too many hits are retrieved </li></ul><ul><li>Combine terms using AND operator – Narrows search </li></ul><ul><li>Combine terms with OR operator – Expands Search </li></ul>
  14. 14. Technical Problems <ul><li>IT (Information Technology) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Software applications (MS Office, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email (sending, attachments) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Laptops (printing, connecting to wireless) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other issues – Library Guest Accounts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Electronic Access </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can’t access database, online journal, website </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contact Technical Staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Kay – ejournals and access to serials </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dave – library databases </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tom – aleph records </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Technical Problems (2) <ul><li>Printing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quota printing – IC printers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Paid patron printing / BUC$ printing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Color printing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Photocopying </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Copier Assistance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Out of paper, jammed, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Technical Problems (3) <ul><li>Computers: </li></ul><ul><li>File types </li></ul><ul><li>Word .doc </li></ul><ul><li>Excel .xls </li></ul><ul><li>Access .mdb </li></ul><ul><li>Powerpoint .ppt </li></ul><ul><li>Adobe Acrobat .pdf </li></ul><ul><li>Web file .htm, .html </li></ul>
  17. 17. Technical Problems (5) <ul><li>Logging into computers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PODs username and password </li></ul></ul><ul><li>H drive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accessing H drive information </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Style Guides and Citing Sources <ul><li>Guide to Style Manuals </li></ul><ul><li>Popular Citation Formats: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MLA – Modern Languages Association </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chicago – Chicago Manual of Style 15 th ed. (REF Z253 C57) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>APA – American Psychological Association: The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (REF BF76.7 P83) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Turabian – A manual for Writers of term papers, Theses, and Dissertations (REF LB2369 T8) </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. What if you can’t answer a question? <ul><li>Pause, think about the search / approach </li></ul><ul><li>Try the search again with different terms </li></ul><ul><li>Try a more general search </li></ul><ul><ul><li>search the web rather than a database </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>try a general database (Academic Search Premier, LexisNexis) rather than the subject database </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Refer to a subject specialist </li></ul><ul><ul><li>List of subject librarians </li></ul></ul>

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