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Profiles of Academic Library Reference Services Management

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  • 55 Pages
  • August 2018
  • Region: Global
  • Primary Research Group
  • ID: 4622871

The 55-page study profiles the development and management of reference services at seven American institutions of higher education: the University of Arizona, Bowling Green State University, California State University—Fresno, Florida Atlantic University, the University of Idaho, Kaplan University and Princeton University.

The study looks at a broad range of issues including but not limited to: the development of special services for international students and distance learning students, the integration of reference services with info technology assistance, tutoring, and other student services, the presentation and orientation of the reference and circulation desks, the appropriate use of student labor and other staffing and labor use issues, the development of “personal librarian programs” and other customization strategies, the proper uses of reference statistics, the integration of virtual and on-site reference services and the marketing of reference services.

Other issues discussed in the report include: relationship building with student “customers”: use of surveying and focus groups to assess the quality of the student reference experience; collaboration with library subject specialists; staff training and dealing with a plethora of reference librarian retirements; and much more.

The study’s author is Christy Zlatos, MLS, Liaison Librarian, Washington State University Libraries.  Ms. Zlatos has worked in several academic libraries in the United States including those of Auburn University, Northeastern University (Boston), and Washington State University.  She has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Academic Librarianship for many years

Table of Contents

University of Arizona   
Nature of the Reference Service   
Staffing and Staff Assignments in Reference Services   
Staff Selection and Training   
International Students Frequent the Reference Desk   
Tracking of Reference and Other Library Services Transactions   
Tracking Unmet Library Services Needs   
Summary and Future Plans   
Collaboration Between Reference and Other Librarians   
Bowling Green State University   
Description of Bowling Green State University   
Nature of the Reference Service   
Maximizing Employee Assets   
The Role of Reference Transaction Statistics   
Importance of Teaching in Academic Reference Services   
Using Students as Employees in Chat Reference Services   
Evaluating When to Use Students and When to Use Professional Librarians in a Chat Reference Service   
Summary and Future Plans   
California State University – Fresno   
Description of Fresno State   
Nature of the Reference Service   
Making Space for Campus Tech Help Desk in the Library and Combining the Reference & Circulation Desks   
Using Statistics for Better Reference and Overall Library Services   
Paramount Importance of the Reference Interview   
Reference Staff Training   
Relationship of Reference Services to Other Library Services   
Summary and Future Plans   
Florida Atlantic University   
Description of Florida Atlantic University   
Nature of the Reference Service   
Training the Library Staff   
Implementing the Single-Service Library Desk   
Emphasizing Virtual Reference and Online Assistance for Self-Help   
Understanding Faculty, Students, and Their Needs is Key   
Librarianship at a Navitas International Recruiting Program Campus   
Regular Library-Environmental Scans   
Summary and Future Plans   
University of Idaho   
Description of the University of Idaho   
Nature of the Reference Service   
Centralizing Library Services and Formalizing Library  Support Liaison Relationships   
Reference Services Roles and Staffing   
Reference Statistics and Learning Outcomes   
Services Tailored for Millennials and Generation Zs   
Summary and Future Plans   
Kaplan University   
Description of Kaplan University   
Nature of the Reference Service   
Best Reference Communication Modes in a Largely Online Environment   
Use of LibGuides   
Use of LiveEngage   
Lean, Flat, and Remotely Connected Support   
Promoting Open Educational Resources (OERs) and Library Subscriptions   
Summary and Future Plans   
Princeton University   
Description of Princeton University   
Nature of Princeton University Reference Service   
Librarian is IN   
New Personal Librarian Program   
Library Collaboration with Princeton Writing Seminars   
Summary and Future Plans   

Sources / Contributors

  • Jeremiah Paschke-Wood, University of Arizona
  • Linda Rich, Bowling Green State University
  • David Tyckoson, California State University-Fresno
  • Ken Frankel/Kristy Padron, Florida Atlantic University
  • Rochelle Smith, University of Idaho
  • Matthew Stevons, Kaplan University 
  • Audrey B. Welber, Princeton University