Reference

  • It's a Wrap! Wikipedia + Libraries: Health and Medical Information Course

    When Finger Lakes Library System librarian, Jenny Shonk, recently faced a personal health issue, she found herself turning to the convenience of Wikipedia for research. Shonk, who is the continuing education and outreach public librarian in Ithaca, N...

  • Online Reference Basic: Updated Self-Paced Course

    Picture this: answering a question for a patron from the comfort of their kitchen table or while one waits to pick up their kids from school. The opportunity and flexibility that online reference service provides makes a positive difference in the li...

  • Wikipedia + Libraries: Health and Medical Information

    WebJunction and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine will present a free, online course for public library staff about health and medical information on Wikipedia.

    When public library staff assist patrons seeking information ...

  • Crowdsourcing Alternatives to "There Are No Stupid Questions"

    Libraries are a place for finding answers, but first come the questions. Whether working at the reference desk or teaching a class, you've likely had more than a handful of patrons approach you to say, "I have a stupid question." My respons...

  • Just Another Day at the Desk: squirrels, professional ethics and consumer health information

    Variety is the name of the game when it comes to the types of reference requests fielded in public libraries every day. Many of you may be aware of the #letmelibrarianthatforyou declaration on social media, based on a wonderful assortment of referenc...

  • Librarians Leave "Fort Ref" and Reach Out with Reference

    The role of reference is changing, and librarians at Douglas County Libraries in Colorado, United States, took an active approach to examining what reference could look like for their community. Through a series of small projects and collaborative ef...

  • Making Connections: Libraries and Essential Human Services

    There are times when the needs of a patron goes beyond our immediate services or an individual's comfort zone. You can probably think of a recent example right now. Knowing where to refer a customer or who to call in your community can really help. W...

  • Financial Education Tools for Libraries from CFPB

    As you may know, we've been participating in an OpenIDEO challenge related to libraries and financial literacy. We've been learning about a variety of approaches to financial education, and also wanted to be sure libraries are aware of all the fantas...

  • The Reference Interaction

    Each reference interaction between a librarian and patron is an opportunity for mutual learning within a shared space. The patron communicates their information needs while the librarian, using probing questions, seeks to provide the appropriate reso...

  • Beyond the Desk: Resources for Innovative Reference Services

    Library services often begin with a question. Do you have this book? Can you help me find information for my report? Which country is the largest producer of coffee beans? As we grow up and learn, we are taught to ask questions to help us learn new i...