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Student Worker Handbook: Reference

What you need to know to excel as a library assistant

Reference or Not?

There will be plenty of times on the job when you are asked questions that you are perfectly capable of answering yourself without involving other library staff.  There is no need to ask a librarian about:

  • Directions to buildings/offices on campus
  • Library hours
  • Phone extensions
  • Do you have the Divergent series?
  • General circulation policies (loan period, renewals, etc.)
  • Any other general types of questions

If you can't answer a question, please find one of the librarians so we can help, but also find out the answer for yourself so you will be prepared to answer should another patron ask the same question. 

More detailed questions should always be directed to Ms. Stacie, our research librarian, if she is available.  If she is out, or in a class, you can ask any of the other librarians.  Please do not attempt to provide reference assistance on your own, unless specifically asked to do so by one of the librarians.  We are specially trained in research, and know what questions to ask the students to find what they really need.  Reference questions include:

  • What are some of the issues involved with abortion?
  • How do I use the online databases?
  • I am an online/AGS student and am unable to access the online library resources.
  • I need help narrowing my research topic.
  • What resources would you recommend that I use for researching a company?
  • I need some articles on the effects of mainstreaming gifted and talented students.
  • Or, any other question that involves research, locating sources on a subject, or accessing resources.

Tracking Reference Questions

We track all questions in LibAnswers.  Please be sure that you are writing down questions of the sheet at the desk.  Also, be sure to note if the question came from a phone call.  We track questions as part of the SACS accreditation for the University and it is very important.

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Need help? Just ask a librarian! Call 864-644-5060, text 864-339-9201, e-mail library@swu.edu, or click the "Start Chat" icon below to chat live with a SWU librarian.  When the library is closed, use LibAnswers.

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