PS 5 Reference and Information Services
PS 5.1 Service Standards
The library recognizes and respects that each question is important to the patron making the inquiry. Library staff will use authoritative and appropriate sources to respond to all patron questions. In some cases, staff may refer a patron to other agencies that can more completely answer a question. The number of patrons waiting for help may restrict the time available to help any one patron; however, staff will strive to provide effective service to all patrons. During busy periods, preference may be given to the patron in the library over the patron on the phone. In order for Reference materials to be accessible to patrons and staff, all reference materials are non-circulating to library patrons.
PS 5.2 Service Limitations
- Legal and Tax Information: Staff provide legal definitions and specific citations from the codes, but do not interpret passages. Staff do not recommend specific attorneys, but may suggest the patron contact an attorney or the local bar association for further assistance. Staff assist patrons in locating specific tax forms and publications. Staff do not interpret tax regulations or provide tax advice.
- Medical Information: Staff will assist patrons in finding information about diseases, medical conditions, tests, and treatments in print and electronic resources. Staff do not interpret the information found in these medical resources. Staff do not make diagnoses, give advice, or recommend specific health care professionals.
- Research Requests: If the information needed to answer a question is very lengthy or must be compiled from several sources, staff will help the patron to locate appropriate materials, show him or her how to use them, and check periodically to make sure the patron is progressing well. When a research request is phoned in, staff will encourage the patron to come to the library in person if the appropriate materials are accessible in the library. Staff may recommend electronic resources and borrowing from other libraries, and may make referrals to other libraries and organizations when those collections would better meet the patron's needs.
For mailed requests, patrons should have complete information regarding request, which should be specific in nature. Patrons must include a postal mailing address with all correspondence, as well as a phone number and if possible, e-mail address. Requests are limited to three (3) inquiries/questions. Patrons who exceed this limit will be asked to resubmit their requests.