Saturday, July 17, 2010

Swiss Army Librarian:
Checklist Manifesto for the Reference Desk

Brian Herzog, on Swiss Army Librarian, has posted a thoughtful checklist which I think would work very well to guide one's thinking in doing a reference interview.

Brian writes: "Some sort of checklist or decision tree is probably covered in most library school reference text books, but I thought I’d take a crack at it. Of course, any checklist like this could vary widely by library, depending on available resources, but the following few questions might help make sure all bases are covered consistently."

Here are his questions, but you ought to read the whole post. for the details:

  • Are you sure you understand the question?

  • Is the patron looking for a specific item?

  • Is the patron looking for a subject?

  • Is the question about something local?

  • Is your answer still “no” or “I don’t know” - what else can you do?

I think this gives very good starting points.

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