Reference is Dead!

Traditional reference is dead.

We will no longer have our Adult Service Librarians working the “reference” desk! For the last 5+ years, reference has been dying, as a public institution we are usingref is dead our best, brightest, and highest paid to help people print (or police depending upon your library). We will operate on a first-level and second-level reference point. All first-level questions can be answered by clerks and library assistance, should the question become bigger or more time consuming the LOD is called in to assist, second-level reference. We have and will continue to train staff on all of the electronic resources available, coaching and mentoring staff on first-level reference and readers advisory, and implementation of library policy.  This will give librarians more time to write grants, train/mentor, perform outreach, teach, and create and promote all those great programs. I would love to see the practice of staffing service desks with librarians end at other libraries, imagine all the great work we could do if we weren’t busy releasing print jobs. We are now in week 3 of the LOD service model, and it seems everyone is solid with the concept, front-line staff never hesitate to find us when needed, and we are able to devote time to larger and more intensive projects.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Changes like this are often difficult, but it’s refreshing to see institutions continuing to adapt and thrive!

  2. comradeharps says:

    It depends on the branch. Some branches it’s a lot of info work, others lots of printing or maintaining ace displays, or continually racing over to the self-service RFID kiosks to help people issue stuff 🙂

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