11.0 Reference Services Policy

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1 11.0 Reference Services Policy 11.1 General Guidelines 11.2 Telephone Guidelines 11.3 Business Center Guidelines 11.4 Public Access/Internet Searches 11.5 Bibliographic Services 11.6 Internet Database Searches 11.7 School Services 11.8 Genealogy and Local History 11.9 Correspondence Orientation and Instruction of Library Skills Fees Proctoring Evaluation of Reference Service and Policies Miscellaneous Appendices A. Ethical Responsibility in Relation to Medical, Legal, Consumer, Appraisal, Investment and Tax Questions B. Assignment Alert C. Teacher Notification Form D. Services to Hearing and Speech Impaired Patrons 1

2 11.0 South Holland Reference Service Policy 11.1 GENERAL GUIDELINES The Reference Staff shall: A. Provide trained Reference Staff to assist the public all hours the Library is open. B. Physically approach patrons to offer assistance. C. Ask sufficient questions to determine the scope of the information needed to answer the question. Care should be taken to avoid judgmental wording. Professional confidentiality must be maintained. D. Provide reference service from print and non-print resources to patrons of all ages. Nonresident patrons requiring materials not owned by the South Holland Public Library will be referred to their home libraries. E. Provide in-state Interlibrary Loan service without cost. Requests for out of state materials are $10 per item. Fees for searching reference questions will be passed on to the patron. F. Provide the answer to the question as well as the source of the information. G. Keep statistics on a daily basis. H. Handle reference questions in the following priority: in person, telephone calls, faxed correspondence, and written or E-correspondence. Persons with lengthy telephone requests should be encouraged to come to the Library for assistance. I. Participate in selection of materials, evaluation of the collection, and weeding TELEPHONE GUIDELINES A. Offer to place patrons "on hold" if the question sounds like an easy, ready-reference question. B. Offer to place the patron on hold to check the shelf for a title. C. Tell the patron s/he will be contacted within a specified period of time if extended searching is required to locate materials. D. These guidelines will vary depending upon the work load in the Reference Department at the time the call is received. In general, telephone transactions should be limited to 5 minutes in duration. E. Make any local voice calls for any hearing impaired person who is in need of Reference information and relay the information to the customer in writing. For other telephone services, the customer will be given a referral number and a handout. (See Attachment D) 11.3 Business Center Guidelines as Applicable to Reference Service The South Holland Library recovers all costs associated with providing reference service to patrons. Photocopies are 10 for black and white single copy; 25 for color copies Faxes are $1 per page and are limited to 10 pages per transmission Patrons must have cash to pay for the services. Collating, binding and stapling services are not provided. 2

3 11.4 PUBLIC ACCESS /INTERNET SEARCHES A. Refer the patron to the appropriate database for personal searching. B. Income tax forms will be provided annually in cooperation with the IRS. C. Contest questions will be answered as any other reference question and will not receive any special priority. D. For those not using computers, if the answer can be located within 10 minutes, the Staff will provide the answer to patrons while they wait. E. If the answer cannot be located within 10 minutes, the Staff will search for the information at a later time and notify the patron. Inform patrons that there is a charge of 10 per sheet. F. Call patrons when their information is ready to be picked up. Due to privacy restrictions, any message left should not contain the title or the topic of the materials BIBLIOGRAPHIC SERVICES A. Requests 1. Place holds for patrons in good standing. A patron in good standing has a card with normal status that has not expired and indicates no outstanding fines. 2. Fill requests for South Holland patrons. 3. Initiate a rush loan request for materials for patrons with a cut-off date of 5 business days or less. 4. Fill requests from other Libraries. The South Holland Library reserves the right to withhold items from Interlibrary Loan. B. Periodical Articles: 1. Inform patrons that there is a 10 charge per single-sided sheet for print-outs. 2. Request articles from libraries owning the magazine article. 3. Verify if a copyright restriction may limit the Library s ability to obtain some materials. C. Print-out bibliographies from the ILS database. 1. There is no charge to tailor lists from the ILS database to meet the patron s need. 2. There is no charge for routine printouts from the ILS database INTERNET DATABASE SEARCHES A. The Internet computers in the Adult Computer Lab are not filtered. The computers in the Youth Computer Lab are filtered. B. Users under 18 years of age may use the Adult Computer Lab after a parent/guardian has signed their Internet Users Agreement. C. South Holland patrons with a valid library card may select a computer and begin work. Reference Staff must assist users who are without a valid South Holland Library card. D. For patrons who do not choose to personally use the Internet, Reference Staff shall 1. Assist patrons in printing out forms such as tax forms. 2. Decline patron request to help fill out forms, contest entries, banking or any other activity involving the patron s personal information. 3. Inform patrons that there is a charge of 10 per single-sided printout. 3

4 11.7 SCHOOL SERVICES A. There is a subject limit of 5 books per student for class assignments. B. There is no intent to limit the number of books on any subject of individual interest. C. During the school year, Reference Staff should work with teachers using the Assignment Alert Form (Appendix B) to obtain notice of class assignments. D. During the school year, Reference Staff should work with students using the Teacher Notification Form (Appendix C) to improve communications with teachers. E. Teacher cards are available for teachers who reside outside Illinois. See the 9.0 Circulation Policy. F. Database access is provided to non-resident students and teachers. G. Teachers who provide an Assignment Alert Form to the Library will be asked if they would like a collection of books pulled for their students. The request must be received at least 7 working days in advance of the assignment GENEALOGY AND LOCAL HISTORY A. Books on regional history may be purchased for the collection. B. Referrals will be made to the following agencies: 1. South Suburban Genealogical Society 2. Federal Archives (73rd and Pulaski) 3. South Holland Historical Society (hosted on Library website; hours 2pm 4pm on Saturday) 4. Internet sites 11.9 CORRESPONDENCE A. Serve patron requests in the following priority: 1. in-person 2. telephone 3. fax 4. written and B. Retain copies of correspondence in accordance with the Records Management schedule ORIENTATION AND INSTRUCTION OF LIBRARY SKILLS: A. Provide orientation to the Library for groups and individual members of the public. B. Group requests for orientation will be handled by the Public Services Librarian. C. New Reference Staff shall receive an orientation to all Library Departments, collections and policies within the first 60 days of employment. D. Reference Department Staff are encouraged to attend workshops. Time, travel and fees are paid by the Library FEES A. Effective April 16, 2009, the South Holland Library will charge $10 per item for materials requested from sources outside of the State of Illinois for Interlibrary Loan. B. The South Holland Library will supply materials to libraries outside the State of Illinois for Interlibrary Loan at a cost of $10. 4

5 C. The South Holland Library will pass along to the patron any costs involved in providing an answer to a reference question Proctoring A. Proctoring will be provided to patrons based upon the availability of Staff. Proctoring is done by the Reference Librarian as part of working at the Reference Desk. B. Requests for proctoring should be received 7 working days prior to the session by the Reference Department. C. The maximum length of time for a proctoring session will be 2 hours. If there are patrons waiting to use the public computers, a session may be cut off after 1 hour. All patrons are subject to the Computer Policy (7.0). No downloads are permitted on Library computers. D. All sessions will take place in the public computer lab. Patrons are encouraged to bring their own computers to avoid problems with interrupted sessions. E. Paper exams may incur costs for mailing or faxing (see for Fees) EVALUATION OF REFERENCE SERVICE AND POLICIES A. Reference Service statistics will be kept daily. B. The Reference policy will be reviewed at least every 2 years. Changes in policy must be approved by the Board of Trustees MISCELLANEOUS A. Ready reference should be maintained for government, elections, municipal code, and Village Board Minutes. B. Reference books do not circulate. C. Reference Staff shall be able to direct patrons to a written copy of the Library Reference Policy. D. Reference Staff require the following equipment in the performance of their work: a telephone, fax/ , a computer, a printer, and the Internet. E. Always call other libraries to confirm material is currently available before sending a patron to that library for reciprocal borrowing. Request that the lending library hold the material under the patron s name until the patron comes to pick it up. Remind the patron that their card must be in good standing. F. The Librarian in Charge manual (12.0) lists opening and closing procedures that are the responsibility of the Reference Staff APPENDICES A. Ethical Responsibility in Relation to Medical, Legal, Consumer, Appraisal, Investment and Tax Questions B. Assignment Alert C. Teacher Notification Form D. Services Available to the Hearing Impaired 5

6 Appendix A Ethical Responsibility in Relation to Medical, Legal, Consumer, Appraisal, Investment and Tax Questions Confidentiality: Librarian is to respect each customer s right to privacy and never to discuss an individual s inquiry with others. Tact and Discretion: Patrons will be questioned carefully, and librarians will not ask any more than is necessary to provide assistance. Librarian will speak in a quiet or moderate tone of voice to avoid attention. Effective Communication: Appropriate questions will be asked to pinpoint the patron s needs. Correct terms and spellings of words will be verified. No Interpretation of Information: Librarian s role is to provide information verbatim with no opinion given to the patron. No Advice: Librarians will not attempt to provide information based upon their own experience or knowledge. No personal opinions nor recommendations shall be offered in medical, legal, consumer, appraisal, investment or tax fields. Limited Telephone Service: Only quick information will be given over the telephone. Explain to the patrons that because of the complex nature of the information, they are asked to visit the Library for assistance. 6

7 Appendix B SOUTH HOLLAND PUBLIC LIBRARY SCHOOL ASSIGNMENT ALERT FORM If you are a teacher in South Holland, please take the time to fill out this form in order to notify the librarians of upcoming assignments. Alerts should be received within 7 working days of the start of the assignment. Teacher s name School Phone Number Today s date Assignment start date Assignment due date Title of assignment Grade level Subject Estimated number of students ASSIGNMENT DESCRIPTION: What are the details of the assignment? What kind of information are students expected to find? INDICATE EACH TYPE OF SOURCE REQUIRED FOR THE ASSIGNMENT: Any source may be used Books Encyclopedias Magazines Newspapers Online Databases Websites OTHER ASSIGNMENT RESTRICTIONS: Are there a minimum number of resources required? Is there a limit on the type? (Ex: 1 website, 1 magazine, etc.) HOW SHOULD WE CONTACT YOU IF WE HAVE A QUESTION? Phone 7 Please fax or mail a copy of the actual assignment to: Youth Services Department South Holland Public Library Wausau Avenue, South Holland IL Phone: Fax:

8 Appendix C Teacher Notification Form Date: Your student, came to the South Holland Public Library today. We regret that we are unable to fill the request for materials on because: All material on this subject is in use. Reasonable search failed to supply suitable material. You have placed too many restrictions on the types of materials your students may use. All material on this subject is in our Reference collection and may not be checked out. The assignment deadline does not allow time for us to borrow materials from another library. Further clarification of the question is needed. Please call us. We are unable to provide so much material on one subject to so many students. Material on this subject is in heavy demand by other library patrons not in your class. Other: In order to assist teachers in notifying the Library of current or upcoming assignments, we have developed an Assignment Alert form. A sample is attached for you to photocopy. If you have any questions, please feel free to stop by the Library or give us a call at Signed Library Copy Student Copy 8

9 Appendix D Services to Hearing and Speech Impaired Customers The South Holland Public Library District recognizes its obligation to provide equal access to information for all patrons. The following procedures will be provided for hearing and speech impaired patrons: Reference/Community Information The Reference staff will make any local voice calls for any hearing or speech impaired person who is in need of Reference or Community related information and will communicate the information to the customer in writing. For Information of a Personal Nature, (i.e. pharmacy, cab, etc.) The Reference staff will refer the customer to the following service: The Illinois Relay Center (AT&T) makes it possible for hearing and/or speech impaired telephone customers to call persons or businesses without TDD s anywhere in Illinois 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls are confidential and billed at regular telephone rates. To use this service, dial TDD Voice 711 is the Universal relay number in all 50 states 9

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