ERIC Number: ED238434
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Information and Referral Services in Public Libraries: A Survey.
O'Brien, Sarah Faith
A survey of reference librarians working in 114 public libraries in metropolitan Chicago was conducted in 1983 to determine their acceptance of specific community information and referral (I&R) services, as defined by Thomas Childers in his nationwide survey of public libraries in 1978. A total of 106 responses to the 1983 survey were received. Most respondents reported that I&R was an appropriate service for public libraries to offer and that there was no significant difference between I&R and reference services. However, only some of the I&R services defined by Childers received positive ratings from the librarians, including simple and complex information provision, the construction of a public resource file, passive advice, and the provision of formal feedback on social service needs to social agenices. I&R services receiving negative ratings included referral, transporting or escorting inquirers to outside services, direct counseling of inquirers, active advice, advocacy, and follow-up to ensure that inquirers received the proper help. It was concluded that the acceptance of the I&R concept and the concomitant rejection of specific non-traditional I&R services indicated the lack of a widely accepted definition for I&R in a public library setting. Childers' definitions of I&R services, a sample questionnaire, and an 11-item bibliography are provided. (ESR)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Masters Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Illinois (Chicago)
Note: M.A. Thesis, University of Chicago.