Monday, February 4, 2008

A new definition of reference

RUSA has redefined reference.

Reference Transactions are information consultations in which library staff recommend, interpret, evaluate, and/or use information resources to help others to meet particular information needs. Reference transactions do not include formal instruction or exchanges that provide assistance with locations, schedules, equipment, supplies, or policy statements.

Reference Work includes reference transactions and other activities that involve the creation, management, and assessment of information or research resources, tools, and services.

For more information see the RUSA blog.


Martin said...

Is anyone else finding that Reference Transactions, as defined by RUSA, are becoming a much smaller part of Reference Work . At MPOW we are getting fewer and fewer reference inquiries and we are spending more time on the Creation side of reference work.

In my experience our customers would benefit greatly from more in depth reference transactions but we are just no longer the first point of call for many.

What does this mean for the future of Libraries? Can the ideas behind Library 2.0 help? How do we get our message out to the public?

These are indeed challenging times for libraries.

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is a common trend. The challenge is ensuring that our efforts in the creation side of the equation are visible to our users. I'm not sure how successful we are at this.