the right question

I’m teaching the reference course in the local LTA program this quarter. In our discussion today a student said that she was surprised about some of the questions that reference librarians receive, and asked if many patrons are too demanding. I mentioned that different libraries have different policies which indicate how far a librarian is to go in answering a question, etc… and that I probably would have answered the particular question in question.

It was later that I thought of something else I might have mentioned. It really isn’t the question of what information we’re giving patrons that should be concerning us, but rather how we are giving it to them. Obviously we need to be providing them with quality information, but if we’re not giving it to them in formats they want, or will be wanting, they might forget about us.

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