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Reference and Instructional Services Policy

Services and General Philosophy

The Monsignor William Barry Memorial Library offers Reference Services to Library patrons utilizing the skills of professional Librarians who hold master degrees in Library Science. Reference Librarians offer research, instruction and reference services during most of the hours the Library is open. Reference service is offered in the following ways:

A. Reference service in the reference area.

  1. Instruction on accessing and using printed and electronic resources.
  2. Reference staff may perform additional Library assigned work during slow times at the desk. However providing assistance to patrons is the priority.
  3. Assistance is provided on a first-come first-served basis.
  4. When asked legal, medical or business reference questions, reference staff should clarify their role as information providers, but not as interpreters of that information.
  5. Reference materials and periodicals do not circulate; however, a reference librarian may sign out an item to faculty of staff for professional use for a limited time using the special permission form.
  6. Copyright compliance will be adhered to in all reference transactions.

B. Reference service via telephone

  1. Priority is given to on-site inquiries over telephone inquiries.
  2. A maximum of three titles will be checked per call.
  3. Only ready reference questions are accepted.
  4. Voice mail calls will be answered promptly.

C. Reference service via electronic mail

  1. Priority is given to on-site inquiries over electronic mail inquiries.
  2. Electronic mailboxes will be checked daily and inquiries answered promptly.

D. Reference service by appointment

  1. Barry University students, faculty, and staff may schedule an appointment to meet with a reference staff member if they have a special need that cannot be met via an inquiry in the reference area.
  2. Meetings will be scheduled with a reference staff member during a time when that person is not scheduled for reference desk duty.

E. On-site Internet service

  1. Reference staff will not provide assistance with chatting.
  2. Patrons will be provided with a brief introduction to Internet searching but not extensive instruction.
  3. Printer paper is not provided.

Information Literacy Policy

Goals and Competencies Toward Implementing Campus-Wide Information Literacy Program. More information regarding the Barry University Information Literacy program is available on the Information Literacy Campus Guide

Program Goals:

Faculty and librarians will collaborate on planning, structuring and implementing an information literacy program based on the following criteria:

  • Cross-disciplinary
  • Accommodates program, department, and institutional levels
  • Incorporates use of appropriate technologies
  • Addresses competencies in print and non-print resources
  • Recognizes library research skills as an integral component of student course work.

Faculty and librarians will collaborate on the formulation of appropriate assessment tools based on the following criteria:

  • Pre- and post-test assessments
  • Ongoing process toward improving student learning
  • Assessments will be conducted at the classroom and program level

Competency Goals:

Students will be able to access information in a variety of formats according to the following guidelines:

  • Life-long, self-directed learning
  • Knowledge of effective database and other online resources computer search techniques

Students will be able to analyze information they have retrieved based on knowledge of the following guidelines:

  • Keywords and related terms for search strategy
  • Keywords vs. controlled vocabulary
  • Primary & secondary resources
  • Scholarly and popular resources
  • Database searching and selection of appropriate databases for specific subject content areas
  • Thesis statement preparation
  • Plan sequence in which information is located
  • List and analyze components of a topic outlining relationships among these issues
  • Appropriate documentation style and consistency in citing sources

Students will be able to evaluate information they have retrieved based on the following guidelines:

Critical thinking skills

Quality of information retrieved using criteria such as authorship, point of view/bias, date written, and citations

Awareness of social, economic and ethical issues of information

Bibliographic instruction

  1. All professional librarians will provide bibliographic instruction.
  2. Presentations for classes must be scheduled by the faculty with the appropriate Library staff.
  3. Bibliographic instruction will be tailored according to the needs of students in the classes. Bibliographic Instruction will be tailored according to the subject specific class by the library liaison.
  4. Statistics on all presentations will be maintained.
  5. User education will also be supported via one-on-one instruction, handouts and point-of-use materials.

Reference Collection Policy

The reference collection is developed to provide print and non-print resources that will support the educational, research, and general information needs of the students, faculty, staff, and community. Reference librarians and faculty together will select resources.

Guidelines for the evaluation, selection and weeding of reference materials follow the principles stated in the Materials Selection Policy.

Policy updated April 4, 2012

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