Quick Options for Reference Referrals

The options below are available at different times and will not work for every patron, but they give staff several choices that can be used when a referral is necessary.

Three quick reference referral options you can point a patron to are:

1) You can refer a patron to another manned Reference Desk. Those patrons can visit that Reference Desk in person or can call them on the phone. The Reference Desk Hours (and phone numbers) for the Fall/2008 semester are available at:

2) You can refer a patron to the Ask a Librarian Live service (Chat). This is a live chat service where a patron can chat live with a librarian.

This service is not available all the time, but when it is available it is featured prominently on the first page of the libraries web site (http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/). This live chat service is available Sundays from 7-10 pm and Mondays through Thursdays from 10 a.m.-Noon; 2-6 p.m.; and 7-10 p.m..

3) You can refer a patron to the Ask a Librarian email service. This option should be used when the patron understands that they may not receive an answer for 24-48 hours. The Ask a Librarian email service is available at:

4) If you know the general subject field that the patron is interested in, you can give the patron the email of the appropriate selector. A contact list for all of the Collection Development / Subject Specialist Librarians is available at:

5) Subject Research Guides are also available for many subject fields. Subject Research Guides are longer, more detailed treatments on subject fields. Subject Research Guides for most subject areas are available at:

The three quick reference options listed at the top of the page Subject Research Guides listed in number 5 are a way to get a patron started on their research, but should be given to a patron in conjunction with one of the first four options that will give a patron access to a reference librarian.

Please remember that a reference referral is "good customer service", as we are giving a patron the information that will allow them to get their question answered correctly.

Last updated: October 21, 2008; November 10, 2011
URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/access_serv/cpsg/quick_ref_referrals.shtml
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