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Northwest Missouri State University

Library Home » Information Services Standards

Information Services Standards

Approachability (Info Need; Question Receipt)

  • responds promptly to each request
  • makes eye contact
  • gives friendly verbal greeting

Knowledge/Competency (Question Translation and Search Strategy/Execution)

  • provides assistance at the appropriate level of need
  • effectively uses electronic reference tools and library Web page
  • effectively uses print reference tools
  • plans and executes effective search strategies
  • refers questions to a library colleague when other suggestions/approaches would be helpful


  • asks for assistance from coworkers as needed
  • contacts subject liaison for dialogue with faculty instructor(s) about class assignments
  • willing to fill in for an absent coworker
  • answers office walk-ins and Library Services Desk requests when not on-call as needed
  • alerts coworkers regarding frequently asked questions or class assignments

Reference Interview (Question Clarification/Translation; Judgment of Relevance)

  • rephrases patron's request and asks for confirmation to ensure that it is understood
  • uses open-ended questions to encourage patron to offer more information about their request (example: please tell me more about your topic; what class is it for?)
  • uses clarifying questions to refine the search query (examples: how much/what type of information do you need?)
  • avoids library jargon and uses terminology that is understandable to the patron
  • asks for validation of patron satisfaction at the end of the interview (examples: does this answer your question/is this what you needed?)


  • is in office at beginning of on-call hours
  • knows when a short answer is most appropriate
  • refers lengthy (longer than 10 min.) reference answers to Help with Research service if possible

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