Reference Statistics

Category 1:
  • Answers that require the least amount of effort;
  • No specialized knowledge skills or expertise;
  • No consultation of resources;
  • Less than 5 minutes.
  • Examples:
  • Where is room LRC 235a?
  • How late is the library open?
  • Where is the Media Collection?
  • Where do I put money on my card?
  • How much does it cost to make a photocopy?
  • Category 2:
  • Answers given which require more effort;
  • Require only minimal specific knowledge skills or expertise;
  • Answers may need nominal resource consultation.
  • Examples:
  • Where is this call number located?
  • Do you own the book Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk?
  • How do you print in the library (where you simply explain the process to the patron)?
  • How do I make double sided copies on the copy machine?
  • My print job is not showing up at the printer, what' s wrong (and your proceed to troubleshoot the problem for the patron)?
  • Category 3:
  • Answers in this category require some effort and time;
  • Consultation of ready reference resource materials is needed;
  • Minimal instruction of the user may be required;
  • Reference knowledge and skills come into play.
  • Examples:
  • How do I find some books on human cloning for my EN 111 class?
  • How do I find a couple articles on using hypnosis for pain management?
  • How do I use the microprint scanners to view this microfilm?
  • How do I print (when you physically take a person through the process of adding money, sending the print job to library laser, and printing the document)?
  • How do I scan and save images?
  • Category 4:
  • Answers or research requests require the consultation of multiple resources;
  • Subject specialists may need to be consulted and more thorough instruction and assistance occurs;
  • Reference knowledge and skills needed;
  • Efforts can be more supportive in nature for the user, or if searching for a finite answer, difficult to find;
  • Exchanges can be more instruction based as staffs teach users more in-depth research skills.
  • Examples:
  • Instructing users how to utilize complex search techniques for the online catalog, databases and the web;
  • How to cross-reference resources and track related supporting materials;
  • Services outside of reference become utilized (ILL, Tech services, etc), collegial consultation;
  • Assisting users in focusing or broadening searches (helping to re-define or clarify a topic).
  • Category 5:
  • More substantial effort and time spent assisting with research and finding information;
  • On the high end of the scale, subject specialists need to be consulted;
  • Consultation appointments with individuals might be scheduled;
  • Efforts are cooperative between the user and librarian, or in working with colleagues;
  • Multiple resources used;
  • Research, reference knowledge and skills needed;
  • Dialogue between the user and librarian may take on a ‘back and forth question’ dimension.
  • Examples:
  • False leads.
  • Interdisciplinary consultations / research;
  • Question evolution;
  • Expanding searches / resources beyond those locally available;
  • Graduate research;
  • Difficult outreach problems (access issues that need to be investigated).
  • Category 6:
  • The most effort and time expended;
  • Inquiries or requests for information can’t be answered on the spot;
  • Staff may be providing in-depth research and services for specific needs of the clients;
  • This category covers some ‘special library’ type research services;
  • Primary (original documents) and secondary resource materials may be used;
  • Category 6 questions are few;
  • Most occur off-desk with librarians assisting grad students or faculty with an ongoing project.
  • Examples:
  • I am researching post war suburban housing development in the (Pick Your City) region - can you show me what you have in that relates to this topic, or where I should look?
  • I am looking for some help getting started on a research project – gender roles and the selection of college majors in the south – where do I start?
  • How do I conduct a study?
  • I need curriculum models for teaching medical students about medical ethics;
  • What should be the learning objectives?
  • What the curriculum content should entail?
  • If the date you helped the patron was not today, please select a date
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