Reference and Information Services

Updated October, 2012

These services support library users as they seek access to information in all formats, wherever these resources are located. These competencies require an understanding of basic information resources and of the user’s information seeking behavior and expectations.

  1. Library Support Staff (LSS) know the general scope of the library’s print, non-print, and digital collections, including areas of strength and specialized collections.
  2. LSS know legal and ethical issues involved in reference services, including user privacy, confidentiality, and copyright.
  3. LSS know basic reference, information, and community resources in print, non-print, and digital formats in order to conduct and support basic research/reference inquiries.
  4. LSS know classification and organization schemes for collections.
  5. LSS know basic search methods, display options, and terminology of the library’s catalog, website, and other information access tools.
  6. LSS can conduct effective reference interviews, helping users define their information needs and determine when referrals are necessary.
  7. LSS can instruct and assist users in basic research procedures including  digital literacy skills. 
  8. LSS can help users select the most appropriate information resource to meet their needs, and evaluate the quality, currency, and authority of information retrieved.
  9. LSS know how to search for and identify materials in all formats, and assist users in accessing those materials from local and non-local sources.

Reference and Information Services 2012 (Word Document version)

Reference and Information Services 2012 (PDF version)