Skip to content

Best practices in roving reference services Six steps for success

Article recommendation

Best practices in roving reference services

Six steps for success

6 steps for roving reference:

  1. “Every time the reference librarian gets a chance to walk around the library during a busy day they should. This is also dependent upon how much traffic we have and should be left to the librarian discretion. The librarian should have an iPad or any device that will allow them to provide students with the appropriate steps they need. This iPad or device in hand should have all the essential apps that are used in your institution.
  2. When you are roving, you should look for lost students—students in the stacks or in the areas of the library where they may be out-of-place. The key to helping students at the computers is to look for those not using our subscription databases, but Wikipedia, Google, and sites that seem unrelated to inappropriate for a research paper. When you see this, you have an available and teachable moment to make a connection with a student. This interaction can go a long way with relationship building.
  3. Approach the student, introduce yourself, and ask if they need any help. Students usually say yes, they do need help. Try not to make students feel incompetent or give directions and walk off. If they are using Wikipedia, ask them if you can show them a great reference tool that is better than Wikipedia. In addition, ask if they need help with breaking down a topic. I found that this is where students are stuck. I like to remind them that research is to support what they are stating in the research paper.
  4. Making sure that you remember whom you approach is critical. You do not want to contact the same person five times in 20 minutes, as students can be bothered or interrupted by you. I try to cut the library into four squares, so that I can work on each one and not visit one I have already covered. It is also important to realize that a student may not need your help at the moment but may remember your offer. Make yourself available and visual to them if they do decide to ask you a question.
  5. You can turn roving into a consultation, as the student may need more in-depth help than what is being given. Roving is a referral system in which you can provide students with direction to other resources that can help with a project. which requires more than thirty minutes of your time.
  6. Be sure to wrap it up with a thank you for letting me help you. Also, possibly leave a way for them to get ahold of you or your reference team for follow-up.”

Posted on: January 18, 2019, 6:10 am Category: Uncategorized

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.