Remember: If the contact includes multiple questions types and Reference is one of them, select Reference.  Otherwise, choose the category to which most of the interaction time was dedicated.

ReferenceInvolves use, recommendation, assistance with or instruction in use of information sources (catalogs, databases, search engines, web sites, reference tools). Also include referrals to specialized services such as a reference librarian, special collections, access services, etc. Note that it is not a referral if you are giving directions to a service that a patron has already identified as a need. It is a referral if you use your own knowledge or resources to identify or recommend a service that a patron needs based on their question.

Library Services – Assistance with using any library services or collections. Examples include helping patrons identify the location of a call number or library space, helping people find information on the library web site, reserving a group study room, understanding library policies and procedures, help with request forms (ILL, research appointment request etc.), problems with logging into databases, how long will it take for my interlibrary loan book to arrive, etc. If a contact includes both services and reference services, it should be reported as a reference transaction.

University Non-Library – Directions to or around campus, facility hours, and non-library event or contact information.

IT/Mechanical – Assistance with productivity software; computers; scanners; photocopiers.

Other – Questions not suited to any category; remember that we do not record directional questions, help with lost and found, or assistance with basic supplies (staplers, scissors, etc.)

Re: multiple requests from a single user:

  1. When they occur during one contact with that user, enter the interaction only once.
  2. If any one of their requests qualifies as Reference, the entry should be Reference.
  3. If none of their requests qualifies as Reference, the entry should reflect the request type that took the greatest amount of time to address.
  4. If the user returns at a later time, that subsequent interaction should be entered separate from the first.