At the Ref Desk (5/12/20): We have entered the Age of Lookups. [more...]

Job Description : Part-time Reference Librarian

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 4/16/16 (2:31pm)

Just got a request to describe my activities as a part-time reference librarian. Here's my response:

Basically the part time job is totally reference (i.e. public service) work. Questions run from 'where is the copier/bathroom/color-printer' to 'I'm writing a research paper on advances in chemistry in the 18th Century and need to find some research articles'.

Am I an expert on advances in chemistry in the 18th Century? No, but I know where to get the student started and I can also show the student how to find articles and, equally as important, how to evaluate search results so that they branch out into even better material. I also know, finally, what the limits are and who and when to refer them to other people.

That's pretty much what I do.