Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Reference as Relationship Building

In this guest editorial by Lorraine Pellack in the latest issue of RUSQ (volume 49, issue 1), I really liked the common sense approach the author suggests that we follow when answering directional reference questions. Thinking of any reference encounter as an opportunity for relationship building seems like a great strategy to ensure that particular transaction goes well and to make it more likely the patron will come back again with a more challenging and (for the librarian) engaging question.

2 Comments:

At 8:19 PM , Blogger CogSci Librarian said...

I like the idea that other patrons are paying attention to how we respond to simple questions. If we are approachable on the bathroom question, the patron asking AND nearby patrons might be more likely to ask a "tougher" question.

 
At 6:40 PM , Anonymous Pat Henshaw said...

Wouldn't you love to see the librarian stereotype saying, "May I help you?" instead of "Shhhhhh!" And wouldn't you love to see the image of the librarian as someone smiling and eager to help? It'll only happen one patron/user at a time, and it'll probably begin with the questions about the location of the bathrooms, printers, or copiers!

 

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