A reference referral is the act of giving a library patron the contact information of someone who is more knowledgeable on a reference related subject. If a patron approaches the desk with a reference question you have difficulty answering, you should refer them to library staff at the desk. If you encounter a difficult reference question over the phone and library staff are helping other patrons, try to find out which subject the question pertains to. Once you know the subject area, you can refer the patron to the appropriate liaison librarian. The Research Guides by Subject link below will show all of the contact information for each liaison librarian and their specialized subjects.
Sample questions that may require a reference referral:
1). What are the unemployment rates for city of Norfolk residents?
2). What is the racial make up of Chesapeake Public Schools?
3). Which areas of Norfolk have the lowest income rates?
You should refer the patron to schedule a research consultation when the reference question is complex and requires too much time to answer at the desk or over the phone. The form for submitting these requests is linked below.