Fe E.

Abelardo National Library of the Philippines

It is the mission of the Reference Service to meet the information needs effectively by bringing the library’s resources and potential users together through a variety of services. Reference services will be provided at all times that the library is open. The service desk will be staffed by trained staff in order to provide quality service. Every effort will be made to complete each reference transaction successfully.

} 

}  }  }  } 

To provide accurate, timely, up-to-date reference services whether questions are asked in person, over the telephone, -by letter, or through the various interlibrary loan systems. To select and acquire suitable and timely resources which meet the ongoing needs of patrons. To arrange and maintain these resources in a readily accessible manner. To provide approachable, knowledgeable staff to assist patrons. To encourage staff development in the areas of library reference services, materials, equipment and other related areas to provide consistent, high quality service.

To instruct patrons in the use of library materials, equipment and facilities. }  To develop and conduct programs of need and interest to the community. }  To cooperate with other government agencies, organizations, libraries, the National Library System in their efforts to better serve the public. }  To promote an increasing awareness of library services and materials
} 

Reader education – Helping people to derive the most benefit from using the library. Readers’ advisor – A library staff member who advises readers on their choice of books and generally assist in the use of the resources of the library. Reader reference query – A question requiring factual information from one simple source. Reference collection – A collection of resources intended to be referred to rather than read. Usually not for loan outside the library.

} 

}  } 

} 

Reference interview – The face-to-face exchange between a user and a reader to communicate, refine or clarify a reference enquiry. Reference process – The process of answering questions Reference services – Services to library users including reader education, meeting users’ requests for specific information and assistance, and the management of the use and loan of library material and equipment. Reference strategy – The process of finding answers to reference queries in the fastest, most efficient way.

Reference work – A work intended to be referred to rather than read. The work of the library which provides assistance to users seeking information. }  Research query – A question requiring complex information which cannot be obtained from a single source.
} 

Information obtained from books and non-book materials }  User person from whom question comes }  Reference Librarian Readers Adviser/Information Specialist - analyzes questions - identifies the exact source/sources of answers
} 

Guidance function - acts as guidance counselor (in choosing the right books) - requires skills in assessing capabilities and interest }  Instruction function (teaching function) - informal (lectures, guided tours, etc.) - informal (teaching of institutional courses)
} 

} 

Appraisal/Evaluation function - collection development function - evaluation of collection * choosing the right materials * suited to immediate clientele and the institutions

You need to be }  Tactful }  Tenacious in searching for answers }  Approachable }  Enthusiastic about reference work You should also have }  A good general knowledge }  An analytical mind }  An interest in finding information }  A commitment to delivering high quality customer service

Communication Skills }  Good listening and questioning skills }  The ability to give instructions and explain procedures }  Positive body language }  The ability to put people at their ease }  Skills in assisting clients regardless of their age temperament and familiarity with libraries

} 

} 

}  } 

} 

Know the collection, particularly the reference collection Know how to formulate a search strategy and precise good search search techniques to gain access to information Have an understanding of library policies and rules Be able to decide when you need help or refer the inquiry to another library or information agency Have an understanding of the principles of good customer service

All Public Services staff are expected to be courteous and exhibit welcoming behavior (eye contact, smile, “may I help you?,” etc.). Staff should first direct their full attention to patrons asking for help, and second, notice other patrons who appear possibly to need help. Staff should be aware of activities throughout the library, approaching and offering help when patrons appear to be confused or unfamiliar with library resources. Whenever possible, staff should show patrons where resources or facilities are located rather than providing verbal directions or pointing.

}  } 

} 

} 

Directional – these require a knowledge of the physical layout of the library Reader education – these involve educating people to use the library effectively –eg. How do I use the CD-ROM databases? Ready reference – involves providing factual information from one simple source –eg. What is the population of the Philippines? Research --involves answering complex questions which cannot be answered from one source – What is the impact of EDSA Revolution to the Philippine economy?

Message selection }  Identification of reference tools }  Selection of specific title to search }  Location of answer in specific title selected }  Selection of answer to be given to the requester or clientele }  Communication of information to the requester
} 

} 

Message selection - analysis of the reference questions * determine the subject of the question * identify the type of information needed - reference interview (most important stage in the process * further clarification or verification * discussion of the question with the user

Identification of reference Tools (sources where the needed information is likely to be found) - determining which category of reference tools to consult first (the dictionary, encyclopedia or almanac) }  Selection of specific title to search
} 

} 

Location of answer in specific title selected - looking for needed information within the pages of the book * use of indexes * use of Table of Contents * use of other search headings

} 

Selection of answer to be given to the inquirer or requester or clientele - decision on the information needed must be: accurate complete

} 

Communication of information to the requester - if satisfied – End of search - if not satisfactory renegotiate the query require further clarification repeat search process

} 

Classification of reference sources 1. Primary sources – original materials 2. Secondary sources - materials prepared from original or primary sources - materials that have been re-arranged, interpreted and condensed from the original 3. Tertiary sources - primary and secondary sources combined together - twice removed from the original

Biographical sources – provide information about people }  Dictionaries – main source of information about words }  Encyclopedia – a work containing information on all subjects, or limited to a special field or subject, arranged in systematic (usually alphabetical) order. }  Handbooks and Manuals – “How to” books
} 

} 

Geographical sources – provide information about places

◦  Gazetteer – geographical dictionary which alphabetically lists places ◦  Maps –flat representation of the earth’s surface or a section of it ◦  Atlas – a collection of maps or plates or other exhibits bound in one volume ◦  Guidebooks – book of direction and information, especially one for travelers, tourists, etc.

Guide to Literature – list sources of available information on a specific subject area or discipline. - these are guides to sources of information on a subject (not the information itself) }  Yearbooks and almanacs *Yearbooks – often called an annual (once a year) *Almanacs – concise information relating to countries, personalities, events, subjects
} 

} 

Directories – provide information about organizations, agencies, firms, clubs, societies, associations, institutions, official bodies. Types of Directories: a. Local directories. Telephone books b. Government directories c. Institutional directories

} 

Indexes, Bibliographies and Abstracts Indexes – guide to the contents of a source or group of sources Bibliographies – list of writings or publications (books, journals articles) Abstracts – an expanded index citation, journals articles)

} 

Information Service

◦  Library Directions ◦  Bibliographic verification ◦  Factual & Brief Reference Queries Instructions and assistance ◦  Use of Library information tools ◦  Locating library materials ◦  Referrals Bibliographic Service Group Orientation, Tour

If answering questions remains the primary role of the reference librarians, there have been changes in precisely what that implies. Among the more obvious modification and changes in reference services, now as well as a few years ahead. }  Reference desk will be modified into an electronic data center }  Reference librarian will become highly developed subject experts. As mediator between the user and information, she should not only a thorough knowledge of the traditional materials but skills with electronic databases, and Internet communications with users and fellow librarians

} 

} 

Reference librarians will be associated with the numerous new technologies, and as questions arise, particularly in subject areas of their expertise, they will instruct and assist the user (where it is requested) in finding the information at a computer terminal in the library or at the user’s home Librarians will assume more research advisory positions. They know a wide range of subject areas related to a specialized core of knowledge which will help the software/hardware network organization better serve the public.

Use of computers in reference service - Use of computerized databases - Use of CD-ROMs - Use of Internet Working with special populations - Meeting the information needs of an ethnically, culturally, socially and economically diverse population * language problems * reading difficulties * mental and emotional problems * homeless

Telephone information service }  Information and referral }  Reader’s Advisory Services }  Free access vs. imposition of user charges }  Privatization of information
} 

User/staff interfacing skills }  Traditional and automated reference skills }  Data retrieval skills }  Information technology skills, including computer literacy * knowledge of hardware & software * analysis of hardware/software needs }  Organization skills
}