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About the Northcentral University Library, it's services, staff, and available resources

Reference Services Policies

Reference Services Policies

The Northcentral University Library reference services, which encompass reference and reference-related services, such as chat and research consultations, support the mission and values of Northcentral University. These services specifically target the research and publication needs of the entire University. The Library incorporates a reference instruction model that educates patrons of the value and use of library resources, services, web pages, in effort to enable patrons to independently conduct research. Reference questions are handled in a 24-48 hour period excluding university-observed holidays.

In addition, the Library follows Reference and Users Services Association (RUSA) guidelines and upholds the American Library Association's Bill of Rights for guidance and ethical standards. In compliance to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) the Northcentral University Library will not disclose or share personal information obtained through the reference service.

Reference Service Limitations

Reference services, do not normally include extensive bibliographic lists editing/proofreading of papers, interpretation of course related materials, or any special research requests that requires a great deal of staff time. Such reference requests will be directed to the appropriate department or outside specialist. Reference does not include interpretation of legal, business and/or medical information, as in compliance to RUSA guidelines (http://www.ala.org/rusa/resources/guidelines/guidelinesmedical).

Librarians may direct patrons to information on websites, however, the Library is not responsible for content appearing on these websites. Due to the volatility and ephemeral nature of the Web, content appearing on websites likely to change or be entirely removed. It is the responsibility of the patron to evaluate the websites and other information obtained during the time of research.

Reference questions may be submitted by online ("Ask a Librarian”) form, email, chat, phone or in person, and are answered on a first-come, first-served basis. In the case of unscheduled phone, Librarians reserve the right to arrange a call-back or meeting at a more convenient time. Librarians also reserve the right to decline requests that require a significant amount of Librarian time or compromise legal or ethical guidelines followed by the Library.

PROCEDURE:  PROVIDING REFERENCE SERVICES

Responsibility

Action

Authorized Northcentral University
Library Patron

1.    Contact the Library with your reference question(s) using one of the following methods, providing as much information as possible:

  • Online form – from the Library home page, under Services, select ”Ask a Librarian”

  • Email – submit questions to library@ncu.edu

  • Phone –  phone calls are preferred during Arizona business hours

  • Chat

  • Research consultation form is located under the Services area in the Library

Librarian

2.    On receipt of a reference question, conduct a reference interview to better understand the context of the question, identify the needs of the patron, and formulate the best possible answer. A typical reference interview includes discussion of:

  • Course assignment information

  • Research topic,

  • Types of resources required and their purpose, and

  • Deadlines for when the information is needed

3.    Deliver reference information in an instructive manner to better help the patron successfully conduct subsequent research independently. Elements of instruction may consist of the following:

  • Creation of search strings using Boolean logic

  • Use of appropriate database/resources and general understanding of controlled vocabularies, indices, and thesauri

  • Explanation of primary vs. secondary resources

  • Narrowing and/or expanding of search results

  • Identification and/or evaluation of resources (includes websites)

  • Reference/citation maintenance

10/20/2014 - Office of the Registrar - © 2014 Northcentral University