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TCH 444: Reference and Information Services (Shasteen): Home

School Library Media Program

What is Reference?

Myriad definitions exist for reference, but I like this one best:

"A friendly face, willing to help."
                       - Dr. Fred Schlipf

Why is Reference important?

In a nutsell, here's how AASL answers this question:

How can Reference be provided?

  • Mediated (with help)
  • Unmediated (through a tutorial, guide, etc.)

Your GOAL as a school librarian is to eliminate BARRIERS (whether physical like the arrangement of books to implied, as in "Oh, you won't like that book') to access. The USER is first in ALL DECISIONS.

Watch this short video clip to see how Reference can be provided with Instant Messages.

This video was made using Screencast-o-matic. You can export videos as an MP4 and edit, or upload to YouTube.

Video tutorials are a great way to anticipate questions your students might have.

Who provides Reference?

In a library setting, a librarian or staff member provides "Reference" services.

Reference may be directional, technical, or helping student locate materials for their assignments or personal needs. Librarians track these statistics to justify the importance of the services provided by a librarian.

An example of a transaction database will be shown in the August 31st class session.

Where can Reference be provided?

  • In person
  • Via phone, text or chat
  • Email
  • Virtually (e.g.: Skype, Elluminate, etc.)

What is a "Pathfinder?"

Simply stated, a pathfinder helps people find their way to the information they need, often without librarian mediation.

Here is a good example of one that meets the needs of pre-service teacher candidates at ISU
Multicultural Books in the TMC

Here are examples of FREE tools similar to what you saw in the "Favorite Book" tab of the libguide:
GoodReads - create an account and patron marks books they want to read or have read; includes area for own review(s)/raating

LibIb - create an account and scan barcode (UPC code with ISBN) or manually enter it to create a "personal" library

Subject Librarian