Evaluate the resource. (See Bopp and Smith, chap. 12) Is it a useful source.
Is it easy to use? What are its strengths and weaknesses? Would you recommend that a library purchase this resource? Why or why not?
The review should be 3 or more pages in length.
The purpose of this assignment is to provide you the opportunity to observe reference
work in the actual process. Before you do the actual observation of a reference librarian, you should read Chapter 2 of your text, "The Reference Interview". This
assignment is to be scheduled at your convenience in a library of your choice. Arrange to observe a reference librarian for a period of 2-4 hours or longer. Schedule the observation in advance so you may get approval of the librarian and/or his/her supervisor. Although it may seem easier to do this at a library where you might currently be working, your observations might not be as objective. I would suggest you choose a library where you might have the strongest interest: academic, public, school media center, or special library.
During your observation, note the types of questions received and sources used, the reference interview, the library user's level of satisfaction, and your conclusions and observations concerning the reference process.
REMEMBER YOU ARE THERE TO OBSERVE AND NOT TO ANSWER QUESTIONS POSED BY LIBRARY USERS.
The observation paper should be 3 or more pages long. Grading of the report will include: length, (within the guidelines, not under) and coverage of the above noted points.
Final Project-Bibliographic Guide
You are to prepare an annotated bibliographic guide designed to assist an interested user explore a body of literature. The immediate application of this guide would be to inform the library user of special materials within a particular collection. Your project will involve several steps.
- Select a problem area (subject or person) that interests you.
- Review the appropriate literature attempting to cover a wide range of resources and services.
- Compile an annotated bibliography with brief descriptions of the sources and services included.
Part 1: You are to include:
- a complete description of your topic, (do not assume your user is familiar with the person or subject you select),
- description of the intended user of the guide and the library where the guide may be used,
- and finally, discuss the steps you took in searching for the information, and any
problems of subject access.
Part 2: The annotated bibliography-annotations should reflect your assessment of the source. You are allowed to include no more than four sources that you personally did not get to physically examine. You may use reviews of these sources for the annotations. Be sure you credit the review by including a complete citation for each. In this part you may include books, articles, monographs, videos, films, tapes, diaries, internet sites, etc. Please consult a style manual for the proper form of a citation. Annotations are to be single-spaced within the source entry, and double-spaced between entries. (See example below)
Pierce, P., ed. The Oxford Literary Guide to Australia. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1987.
This resource provides descriptions of places in Australia that have been written about in books. Not only are the places described as they exist today, but descriptive passages from the books are also included. Each entry provides a reference to the location on the maps in the back of the book. An index of authors is also listed.
Ransom, E. W., ed. The Australian National Dictionary...
Papers will vary in length because of the difference in the attention given to the topics as well as differences in the sources used. Your paper, though, should fall within a 10-15 page length, but it may be longer. Be thorough, but please be concise. The project will be evaluation for resourcefulness in solving the problem of gathering information for your user, and style of presentation. (Examples of bibliographic guides are on reserve at the Circulation Desk)
An ability to make a careful analysis of questions or problems and to retrieve relevant information efficiently is a practical and useful goal, regardless of the position the librarian holds. Working conditions frequently and regularly demand that information be retrieved without delay, and the timed practicums represent these ordinary conditions. The practicum questions are typical kinds of questions asked in libraries; many are based on actual situations.
Each student will be assigned to work on the practicum in the reference room for a designated time period. At the beginning of class, each student will draw an envelope containing five questions for the practicum. The questions vary in degree of difficulty and will require different types of sources for the information to be retrieved.
You may bring your textbook, L524 syllabus, worksheets, notes, etc., to the practicum. Most students prefer to "plot" their strategy before beginning the search; you should develop a strategy that works most efficiently for you.
Answer one question at a time, in any order preferred. When the answer if found, bring the question you are answering and the volume containing the answer to your instructor. Answers found on electronic sources must be printed out. Please do not write on the question card, and above all, do not mark on the the book(s). Treat your instructor as a library user, turning the book so that the answer can be read, pointing to the place where it can be found, and discussing any part of it as it relates to the question asked if this is appropriate.
After completing the question, reshelve, immediately and accurately, the material pulled for your search. When you have finished answering all five questions, please return the questions and envelope to your instructor.
All of the questions are answerable from the sources listed in the L524 syllabus and in Bopp and Smith. However, you are not limited to these sources. Use any available materials which solves the problem; use the opportunity to build on sources you already know, if their use seems relevant and improves your efficiency. If you search for a particular item and are unable to locate it on the shelf after checking once or twice, report the problem to your instructor, immediately.
If you find that a question is causing difficulty, discuss your strategy with your instructor who will try to guide you along a more productive route. Often, a simple question may lead you toward an immediate solution. Please regard this strategy discussion as a part of the learning process. Do not be alarmed if you encounter difficulties; in fact, you should expect that you might not solve each question immediately. A calm, logical approach is the most important factor toward solving the problem. When you find that you are growing frustrated, that is the moment to discuss your strategy. The practicum should be an enjoyable challenge.
Student contributions to discussions and informal reports about reference and reference sources are essential. Each member of the class brings an individual background and varying interests to the class sessions. Preparing for these discussions is essential. This involves reading the assigned chapters in Bopp and Smith and any selected journal articles before class. Class sessions may be led by your instructor, by guest speakers, or by members of the class and may involve use of films, recordings, demonstrations, etc.,
that are appropriated to the study of reference work in librarianship.
As part of the class participation points (3), students will be required to present to the class a discussion of their bibliographic guide on the last class meeting of the semester. Your presentation should be about 5 minutes long. During that time you should:
- give a brief overview of your topic
- discuss your search strategy
- talk about two sources you feel were essential for inclusion in your guide,
ones that should be in most library collections