Presentation on theme: "HOW AND WHEN TO SUMMON HELP FOR A LIBRARY USER Making Good Referrals."— Presentation transcript:
HOW AND WHEN TO SUMMON HELP FOR A LIBRARY USER Making Good Referrals
Definitions Direct Referrals contact the librarian on-call for assistance this works only during on-call hours Indirect Referrals let the user know that a subject librarian is available by appointment subject librarians provide more complete, focused, specialized or in-depth research assistance
If there is a librarian on call: If there is not a librarian on call: Usually, you should refer to the librarian on call. He, or she can easily refer the library user to a subject specialist if necessary. If the library user is a sophisticated researcher you should also mention that a subject specialist is available by appointment Usually, it is best to refer the library user to the librarian most likely to be able to offer in-depth assistance Try to let the user know when the librarian might be available (e.g. “Connie is usually in the library M-F from 10-6”) Should I make a direct or indirect referral?
How do I know which librarian is “the one?” It can be difficult to figure out which librarian is the right one for a particular user. Our website is here to help you with that. Go to the homepage (http://library.uno.edu) and click on “Subject Specialists” under “Getting Help.” There you will find all of the different subjects and who handles each one. It also provides you with that librarian’s phone number and e-mail address.http://library.uno.edu
Click here to see the list of Subject Librarians. Let’s see if we can find the History Librarian…
Here is history… Connie Phelps is the librarian for history. If you cannot find Connie’s business card at the desk, give the user her contact information.
The art of REFERence So you know which library to refer what user to, right? But what if the user doesn’t need a librarian? What if they need someone in another department of the library? Or someone in another department of the university?
Can I refer to someone besides a librarian? YES! Sometimes library users need to talk with other kinds of experts in, or outside of the library, like: The Circulation Manager The Stacks Manager The Bursar Etc.
Just make sure you ALWAYS look up the name, location and phone number of anyone to whom you refer a library user. If you are not CERTAIN that person can help the library user, call the number yourself, explain the situation and determine if you’ve made the right call. If not, ask the person on the other end who can help the user. And, wherever you send a library user, make sure he knows how to get there! Some users will need verbal directions, some will need to see a map, and some will need to take a map with them! Give the user as much information as he needs and in the format he needs.
IT’S EASY TO KNOW WHEN TO REFER A QUESTION! When To Make a Referral
If you don’t know the answer Completely, Or if you don’t know The Best Answer
OKAY, So it’s hard to know when to make a referral. It is hard to be absolutely certain that the answer is complete…or that is the best possible answer. And it might be annoying to constantly ask the library user to wait while you call someone else to double-check your work. So what do you do?
Here’s a Simple Rule You Can Use: Is the library user happy with your answer? If the answer is yes, you probably don’t need to call a librarian. HINT: You HAVE TO ASK the user if he’s satisfied or if he wants more assistance!
Try these follow-ups to know how you’ve done How close is this to what you hoped to find? A librarian can help you expand or focus that list- would you like his/her assistance? Does this completely answer your question? If that technique/resource doesn’t work out, let us know and we’ll call a librarian How is that search working out for you?
THE SAME TECHNIQUES THAT HELP YOU ANSWER LIBRARY USERS’ QUESTIONS HELP YOU MAKE BETTER REFERRALS Making Better Referrals
Before you interview a library user, you should Be approachable Understand the difference in known and unknown item requests Ask open questions to clarify unknown item requests
Clarifications Sometimes users can be mysterious with their questions. They may not want to give you all the information at once. Often, they don’t want to bore you with the details. But you NEED the details to help them better. Here are some questions you can ask to help clarify what they need.
Some questions for clarifying information needs Is this for a class? Which one? What has your teacher asked you to find? Do you want something generally on this topic or something more focused? What kind of formats do you want?
More Clarifying Questions It sounds like you are looking for X. What aspects of X interest you most? Can you tell me more? I think either the X librarian or the Y librarian might be able to help you more. Do you have a preference? If you had the perfect book or article for your project what would its title be?
WE NEED YOU Your interaction sets the tone for all we do with the library user afterwards You are the first person a library user has contact with—first impressions are vital! Students often find other students more approachable and will ask them first (even if librarian experts are right there)
A good triage reference operation depends on you Your approachability determines if the user wants to use our services Students will often be more willing to approach other students first, even if librarians are close by Your knowledge helps students meet basic needs with no waiting
Why are these skills so important? Your follow-up skills encourage and reassure students and make them aware of professional services available to them Your documentation of transactions help us to develop more meaningful services to our users
Tools for Good Referrals Verbal follow-ups to verify the user is satisfied Encouraging and/or advising the user of librarian (or other expert) availability Librarian business cards Librarian work schedules
More Tools You Can Use Provide maps and/or directions for other locations, especially outside the library Provide phone numbers for other locations Offer the user website resources for contacting librarians Document! Your documentation of all transactions helps us design better services for information and referral
We Can’t Do it Without You! Thanks for being on our team (Go Team!)