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Reference Service is evaluated on the following criteria:


        A.         Reference Theory and Practice

To meet their reference service responsibilities, reference librarians must understand the various issues, functions and activities associated with providing reference service in an academic library.

        B.         Role as a Librarian and Member of the Faculty

To function effectively as a member of the WSU faculty, reference librarians must understand the rights and responsibilities of their faculty status, as described in the University's Policies & Procedure Manual and the WSU Faculty Handbook.

To fulfill their role as academic librarians responsible for providing reference service in an academic library, reference librarians must understand and follow the policies and procedures detailed in the Library's Reference Policy. Reference librarians are expected to fulfill the responsibilities of their positions in an ethical, professional manner and to share their expertise with colleagues.


        A.         Knowledge of Reference Sources

To meet users' information needs, reference librarians must be able to use and to teach others to use the print and electronic resources available in the Library. They must also be aware of and refer patrons to relevant resources not available in the local collection.

        B.         Reference Collection Management

Reference Librarians will actively participate with subject bibliographers and the Reference and Information Services Librarian in evaluating and selecting print and electronic resources for the reference collection.

        C.         Question Negotiation Skills

To understand the user's information needs, reference librarians will develop and consistently employ excellent communication and questions negotiation skills.

Reference librarians will make every reasonable effort to ascertain the user's information need, will treat the user with courtesy and respect, address the query in a serious, nonjudgmental fashion, and attempt to determine whether or not the information need was met satisfactorily.

        D.         Service Orientation

To provide effective reference service, reference librarians will consistently demonstrate a commitment to service within the context of the educational mission of the University and will tailor their assistance to meet the patron's needs and learning style.


        A.         To improve and further develop the Reference Program, reference librarians will:

* Participate in the governance of the program and keep informed on reference issues, policies and procedures

* Serve their scheduled hours at the Reference Desk, consistently provide high quality service, regularly attend and provide training sessions to enhance knowledge and skills, and develop user guides, as requested

* Take the initiative to solve problems constructively and make recommendations for program improvement

* Demonstrate a positive work ethic and employ excellent planning and time management skills.


        A.         With Students and Faculty

To provide high quality reference service to students and faculty, reference librarians must utilize excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

        B.         With Colleagues and the Reference & Information Services Librarian

To work effectively with library colleagues, which includes library faculty, staff, student assistants, and the RMS Librarian, reference librarians must employ good interpersonal and communication skills and approach issues in a collegial, problem-solving manner.

NOTE: Specific details relating to the above expectations are detailed in the Reference Service Performance Expectations Policy.



Criterion 1, 2, 3, and 4 are evaluated by the Reference & Information Services Librarian by examining the information contained in the annual Faculty Activities Report, by working with and directly observing librarians at the reference desk, and soliciting input from reference patrons. The R&IS Librarian also refers questions to subject bibliographers, which affords additional opportunities to assess their knowledge of their individual fields.

Criterion 2.B: The R&IS Librarian evaluates the reference collection by using it regularly to answer patron's questions and systematically reviews the collection once a year.

The R&IS Librarian maintains a file of notes on direct observations and feedback from patrons and other sources and meets regularly with reference librarians to discuss these inputs and observations. The frequency of the meetings vary, depending upon need.

The R&IS Librarian summarizes the results of these observations and discussions in an annual written review.

Updated December 14, 2004 . Please send comments to Ludwig Possie Web Administrator.
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