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ERIC Number: ED401891
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Nov
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Using Library Handbooks To Compensate for Reductions in Reference Staff.
Willingham, Patricia; Pracht, Carl
At Southeast Missouri State University, library handbooks have been developed in an effort to meet patron needs in an environment of reduced library staff. The first handbook, "Welcome to Kent Library," was developed to meet the needs of the revamped general education program, and was given free to first-year students in a required seminar class with a unit on using the library. Library staff found that faculty scheduled fewer bibliographic instruction sessions with library staff, and instead they relied on the handbook for basic library information. After the success of the student handbook, a faculty handbook was developed and distributed to all faculty. The handbooks were successful because they targeted specific audiences, used a simple organizational structure, were written in clear and concise language, and included only the most important information, with a referral to the appropriate contact person provided at the end of each section. The process forced the clarification and updating of written library policies and procedures, and identified inconsistencies or gaps in policy or procedures. The handbooks have helped address the reductions in reference staff by enabling many patrons to help themselves use the library's services with little or no assistance from the librarians. (SWC)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A