As a student worker for the Learning Commons, your primary responsibility is to answer questions that library users may have about locating specific books, periodicals (journals and magazines), microfilm, or electronic materials (books, documents, or articles). These situations can include:
If you encounter a situation similar to these, begin by asking the patron a series of questions. These questions begin the conversation known as the reference interview. Use the information you learn from the interaction and the skills you have gained through your training sessions to provide the user with the best answer.
For example, someone looking for a textbook could want to see if the libraries happen to have their textbook OR their professor could have put their textbook on reserve for their class and they want to know where to check out the reserve book. Conducting a reference interview will give you enough information to give this patron the right answer.
Your interaction with patrons typically should not last more than 5-7 minutes. If you find yourself unsure of how to answer the question, or you have not found the answer within that time using the library's resources, refer the patron to library staff at the desk. You can inform patrons to contact a reference librarian for help if library staff at the desk are occupied.
*** If you find yourself struggling to answer these types of questions, contact Linh for additional training. The attached documents are helpful for developing your reference skills.
Source: Portions of the information above was created by The Earl K. Long Library at the University of New Orleans and was used in this libguide with permission.
In order to open the attached documents, select Save As, save the documents someplace on your computer, and then select Open.
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