Reference and Information Services

Scheduled Dates
Course Details
Course Type: 
Topic Area: 
Course Description

This introduction to the key concepts and tools in reference and information services helps library staff become comfortable in the application of core reference principles and the use of print and electronic resources. Learners are exposed to real-world reference issues related to resource selection, user privacy, and confidentiality.

This course will be presented in four units:

  • Core reference skills
  • Knowing your library's collection and research skills
  • Reference resources
  • Legal and ethical issues in reference services

This class is approved for the ALA Library Support Staff Certification Program.

Learning objectives for this session include

Through in-class and homework discussions and activities, by the end of the course students will

Demonstrate knowledge by:

  1. Examining the general scope of the library’s print, non-print, and digital collections, including areas of strength and specialized collections.
  2. Understanding legal issues involved in reference services, including user privacy, confidentiality, and copyright.
  3. Identifying basic reference, information, and community resources in print, non-print, and digital formats to conduct and support basic research/reference inquiries.
  4. Explaining classification and organization schemes for collection.
  5. Explaining basic search methods, display options, and terminology of the library's catalog, website, and other information access tools.

Demonstrate skills by:

  1. Conducting effective reference interviews, helping users define their information needs and determine when referrals are necessary.
  2. Instructing and assisting users in basic research procedures, including digital literacy skills.
  3. Helping users select the most appropriate information resource to meet their needs, and evaluate the quality, currency, and authority of information retrieved.
  4. Identifying and locate information in all formats, and assist users in retrieving materials from local and non-local sources.
Session Information
Session Duration: 
This course consists of four 2-hour sessions.
Contact Hours: 
Instructor or (972) 340-2829