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Title:The reference interview: Communication and the patron
Author(s):Parus, Dale J.
Reference services
Abstract:The reference librarian has perhaps the toughest job in librarianship - staffing the information desk. He or she must provide information every day to a variety of patrons on countless subjects. In addition, there is no generic customer; every one differs in personal background, education and age. Some days (or hours or minutes), the reference professional may be asked questions that range from the trivial ("where is the restroom key?") to those that may be challenging ("what were the Seven Wonders of the world?"). The range of questions and the understaffing of many reference areas are enough to cause service problems at the information desk (Plotnick, 1985). Another obstacle can be the miscommunication between the client and the librarian, which is often caused by the patron's inability to verbalize his or her information need. This is where a tool, called the reference interview, enters the discipline of library science. The reference interview attempts to bridge the communication gap between the patron and the librarian. There are, however, differing opinions in the library community on the relative worth of the reference interview and how the technique should be executed. Therefore, this paper will show the contemporary views that have been written in the library science literature about the reference interview and its effects on client/librarian relations.
Issue Date:1996
Publisher:Graduate School of Library and Information Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Citation Info:Parus, Dale J. "The Reference Interview: Communication and the Patron." Katharine Sharp Review, no. 2 (1996).
Series/Report:Katharine Sharp Review ; no. 002, Winter, 1996
Rights Information:Copyright 1996 is held by Dale J. Parus
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-07-20

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