LoganLibraryLogo Logan Library

Policy Manual

<< Displays and Exhibits Policy        Table of Contents         Logan Library Special Collections >>

2.09 Reference Policy

Logan Library
Approved: 1992
Updated: 20 January 2004

2.09.01 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to set standards and guidelines for reference services reflecting a suggested level of performance to define which services and resources are offered and the extent to which they are provided and to give purpose and direction to future reference service.

2.09.02 Objectives

  1. Provide accurate, prompt, and courteous assistance to the public using the library's reference, online, and regular collections.
  2. Provide a reference collection, both print and online, that meets the general information, basic research, recreational, and instructional needs of the public.
  3. Provide reference services that meet the individual needs of each patron who uses the library's resources.

2.09.03 Reference Service

Reference Services are defined as those services provided by the library that facilitate an individual's access to and use of the library resources. Trained library staff provides reference services. These services are designed to enhance the public's experience in using the collective resources of the library.

Reference services for the public are identified as, but not limited to the following services:

  1. Reference/information desk assistance:
    1. Reference librarians listen to and conduct reference interviews with the public in order to assist the individual in identifying and locating the resources they need. Reference librarians direct patrons to appropriate resources.
    2. Reference librarians do not interpret or give opinions of the findings. The librarians may indicate the best sources on a given subject based on professional reviews and experience.
    3. The public may be referred to other public, school, academic, or specialty libraries when seeking specific sources of information.
    4. The reference staff provides bibliographic information when providing information to a patron. When information is given on any subject, including the most common knowledge, the patron is provided with the reference source for the data.
    5. A reference request from a business is treated the same as a reference request from an individual.
    6. A cheerful and courteous manner is employed in dispensing information and reference service. The reference staff is attentive and respectful. The patrons are given the benefit of the doubt, and credit for good intentions and honesty.
    7. The reference staff provides services to patrons without bias and without imposing value judgments as to the importance of their questions or needs.
  2. Telephone Reference:
    1. The reference staff responds to requests by telephone. The reference staff verifies answers, cites sources that are used and gives the date of the source when relevant. The questions are answered with quick, specific answers. Long passages are not read over the telephone.
    2. If questions will take more than a couple of minutes to find the answer the reference staff will call the patron back within twenty-four hours or patrons will be encouraged to come to the library to do their own research.
  3. Online reference:
    1. Online databases provide information that meet the informational needs of the patrons.
    2. In some cases, access to databases may be restricted to in-library use, depending on licensing agreements with the vendors. Remote access is intended for Logan Library patrons only.
    3. The library works closely with the Utah State Library in selecting databases that are shared with other Utah libraries and recommends databases which would benefit not only Logan citizens, but citizens of Utah.
    4. The library Computer Use Policy governs use of the library's electronic resources. The library takes requests for information electronically, either from the Home Page, requests forwarded from Logan City Home Page, or from the catalog. Answers are provided as soon as possible, within one working business day when reasonable.
  4. Library use instruction:
    1. The reference staff assists patrons in the use of the library and teaches research methodology when appropriate.
    2. Small groups may be given tours of the library. These tours must be pre-arranged and are conducted by reference staff not currently working on the reference desk, or by other assigned staff. The tour groups are shown the different areas of the Library with emphasis on its resources and various collections and services.
    3. During regular reference interviews librarians take the opportunity to familiarize library patrons with library-usage concepts and practices in order to help them feel comfortable when visiting the library.
    4. Formal class instruction may be offered depending on available space and staff time.
  5. Reading guidance:
    • The reference staff provides reading guidance for the public as time permits. Reading guidance consists of recommending books, and/or other resources, compiling selected titles and discussing with the patron how they might best use or benefit from these resources to meet their individual need.

Support services are identified as, but not limited to the following services:

  1. Collection Development:
    • The reference collection is generally comprised of sources for factual and statistical information. The collection shall include reference tools recommended for public libraries. Collection development for these collection is governed by library board policy 2.01 Collection Development.
  2. Interlibrary Loan:
    1. Interlibrary loan services are available to help patrons obtain materials not found in the Library. (See ILL Policy 2.04)
    2. The reference staff assists patrons in finding bibliographic verification of items not owned by the library. The patrons are assisted in filling out the forms to obtain materials through interlibrary loan when necessary.
    3. The reference staff refers patrons to other agencies and suppliers of information when appropriate.
  3. Compilation and publication of bibliographic materials:
    • The reference staff compiles and publishes, either in print or online, bibliographies that may assist the public in finding resources of a particular type of subject area.
  4. Statistical analysis and review:
    1. Reference staff is responsible for recording statistics to track usage of reference services.
    2. A directional transaction is an information contact that facilitates the logistical use of the library and that does not involve the knowledge, use, recommendations, interpretation, or instruction in the use of any information sources other than those that describe the library, such as schedules, floor plans, and handbooks.
    3. A reference transaction is an information contact that involves the knowledge, use, recommendations, interpretation, or instruction in the use of one or more information sources by a member of the library staff.
  5. Equipment services:
    • The library provides a variety of equipment that may be used to access and/or enhance reference services.
      1. Copy Machines: The library provides coin-operated copy machines for public use. Assistance in operating the copy machines is provides when necessary.
      2. Microfilm services: The library provides microfilm/fiche equipment for public use. Print capability is also provided.
      3. Online computer services: The library provides computer equipment for public use. Print capability is also provided. Use of this equipment is governed by the Computer Use Policy of the library and by the Rules for Computer Usage.
      4. Video services: The library provides VHS format video-viewing services based on availability of equipment, space, and staff time.

<< Displays and Exhibits Policy        Table of Contents         Logan Library Special Collections >>