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ERIC Number: ED308875
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Apr
Pages: 50
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Appropriateness of Referrals in Harold B. Lee Library: An Unobtrusive Study. Revised.
Adams, Irene; And Others
This unobtrusive study conducted at the Brigham Young University Library was designed to determine whether reference questions are appropriately referred by student and paraprofessional assistants. Issues addressed included: (1) the percentage of questions assistants cannot answer themselves that are referred to professionals; (2) the percentage of questions more appropriately answered on another floor or department that are referred to that floor or department; (3) the percentage of questions requiring the patron to go to an outside collection that are referred to that collection; (4) the percentage of requests for documents not possessed by the library that are referred to interlibrary loan; and (5) the percentage of appropriate referrals by paraprofessional assistants compared with referrals by student assistants. The study population included 38 assistants at five reference desks. Eleven proxies asked the assistants a total of 125 reference questions over a 3-week period. These questions were designed to study the accuracy, negotiation, and referral aspects of reference service. Results indicated that the assistants are aware of their limits and the limits of the collections, as well as other collections in the library and on campus. Referral performance was impressive except for the lack of referral to interlibrary loan. Suggestions for further research are included. Referral questions, proxy instructions, the proxy report, and the data list are appended. (13 references) (MES)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Dissertations/Theses - Masters Theses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A