Thursday, March 24, 2011

Reference Transaction

The success of a reference transaction does not entirely fall on the librarian. If a patron approaches the transaction with negativity, this can effect the outcome of the interview. For instance, if you are doing your best to explain to a patron over the phone that the resource they are trying to use contains articles, not necessarily books and they are viewing the resource with you insisting that it has books on it. Then they began to say how they hate libraries and why can't you explain this too me, though you are. The key clincher is the patron knows nothing about computers, and chose to call over the phone saying how stupid things are, they hate computers and how unhelpful it is. Though you know the person is frustrated they are not able to comprehend how to use the information, and in this case it would have been better to have a face-to-face instruction session. My main thing it is hard to help people that do not really want to be helped, they just want to get nasty and mean, which does not make the situation a successful interview. Just because you do not understand something, does not mean the librarian is not capable of doing the job. Approach any transaction as if the outcome will be excellent and you never know what you may be able to comprehend, if you just listen and leave all the negativity at the gate.


  1. That is the truth about patrons. Some never want to exercise simple logic in their queries and in the end think its the librarian's fault or that libraries have no answers. May be more instructions are needed in seeking information.
    I like your blog!

  2. I totally agree on more library instruction both in academic and public settings. I noticed that we get a lot of older patrons that are taking classes online from other schools and that do not know how to cite sources or type papers. I even have users that expect us to type the paper for them.


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