Artifact 2: The Reference Interview

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Artifact 2: The Reference Interview

  1. 2. Why conduct a reference interview? <ul><li>Even when a patron has a seemingly simple question, it is often necessary for the librarian to conduct a reference interview. </li></ul><ul><li>Many times it is necessary for the librarian to clarify the patron’s information request. </li></ul>
  2. 3. Step One: Establish Rapport with the User <ul><li>Appear welcoming and friendly. </li></ul><ul><li>Make eye contact and approach the patron. </li></ul><ul><li>Make every effort to sound happy and helpful. </li></ul>
  3. 4. Step Two: Ascertain the Question <ul><li>Why is the patron asking the question? </li></ul><ul><li>What do they already know? </li></ul><ul><li>How much information is needed? </li></ul><ul><li>Rephrase the question to be sure that you understand the information request. </li></ul>
  4. 5. Step Three: Develop a Strategy to Find Information <ul><li>What are the best search terms and sources for the user to find information? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the user want very specific information or would general information, like that from an encyclopedia, answer the question? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the user prefer print or electronic resources? </li></ul>
  5. 6. Step Four: Find and Evaluate Information <ul><li>Regularly visit with the patron to see that the information is meeting their needs. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure the patron is using high-quality resources. </li></ul><ul><li>The patron may need additional instruction in how to use a resource. </li></ul>
  6. 7. Step Five: Make Sure the Question is Answered Satisfactorily <ul><li>Check with the user to see if their question has been answered. </li></ul><ul><li>Roving through the library or asking the patron directly are good ways to initiate this contact. </li></ul><ul><li>Even if the patron is satisfied, the librarian should encourage them to come back again if they have any additional questions. </li></ul>
  7. 8. Step Six: Close the Interview <ul><li>End the interview. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not make it seem as though you are anxious to be rid of the patron. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>End with an invitation to return and receive further help. </li></ul>
  8. 9. What NOT to do in a Reference Interview <ul><li>Do not do the research for the patron. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not ignore the patron after directing them to a resource. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not neglect to explain the research process to the patron. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not dismiss the patron at the end of the interview. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not intimidate the patron with unfamiliar jargon. </li></ul>
  9. 10. Resources <ul><li>Cassell, K.A., & Hiremath, Uma. (2009). Reference and information services in the 21st century . New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers. </li></ul>

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