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Reference Service : Definitions - Queries - Types of Reference Service - Some Important Questions Answer -Short Note

Reference Service 
Reference Service : Definitions - Queries - Types of Reference Service - Some Important Questions Answer -Short Note
DefinitionsQueries - Types of Reference Service
Some Important Questions Answer - Short Note
Concept :Reference Service is a Process in Which reader receive their Information through Personal Contact of the Reference Librarian. Samuel Green, the librarian of the Worcester Free Public Library in Massachusetts, introduced the concept of reference service when he suggested that the librarian should assist the user in the selection of books. (Genz, 1998). Reference Service is most important Service of the library. Reference service is defined simply to provide personal assistance to library user seeking Information. 
Reference Service started from 1896 by ALA. In India Reference Service started by Dr. S R Ranganathan in 1926 In Madras University Library.
Acc. to Ranganathan
“The  Process  of  establishing contact between a reader and its document in personal way”
. Ranganathan has also emphasized reference service 
           “providing the right book to the right reader at the right time.”
Theories On Reference Service – 
James I. Wyer has recognized three theories of reference services
  • Conservative - It limits the help to pointing the way only and so it is traditional in nature
  • Moderate - The moderate reference service goes beyond providing mere instruction to actually helping the reader in using the book or finding the document and facts, etc.
  • Liberal - It includes the provision of the full and direct supply of reliable information to the readers.
Katz’s (1969) classified Reference Services of “direct” and “indirect” 
  • Direct reference is Person to person relationship.
  • Indirect reference consists of behind the scene activities
Types of reference Service -  
Dr. S R Ranganathan Classified reference Service in Two Types
Short/Ready Reference Service – Most of the ready reference service are of the nature of fact finding types that can be finished in a very short time . It is also called fact finding service .
Queries -   
  • Answer on the table of reference Librarian 
  • Simple 
  • Fact finding 
  • Pinpointed 
  • Short answer
  • Involved short research process 
Example – 
  • Where is Text book Section ?
  • What is timing of Library ?
  • What is date of birth of Mahatma Gandhi ?
Ready reference Source – 
  • Dictionaries 
  • Handbook 
  • Yearbook 
  • Atlas 
  • Directories 
  • Encycloipedia
  • Bibliographies 
Long Range Reference Service : The Process of Information may take hours, days Weeks.
The search in The  long range reference service starts at the reference books The search in the long range reference service starts at the reference books and then goes to the ordinary books, pamphlets, reports, articles in periodicals etc.  the scope of long range reference service started expanding. Now bibliographical service, referral service, translation service, etc are considered long range reference services
Queries – 
  • Complex 
  • Detail
  • Involved long Research Process
Example : 
  • Kargil war History 
  • Indian Independence Struggle.
Need of Reference Service :
  • save the time
  • It is a Valuable Service 
  • Cooperation between readers and staff.
  • Promote and support Library Services .
  • Answer the queries of the readers.
  • It gives relevant Information to the User.
Different Activities – 
  • Telling the Readers of the availability of a particular document.
  • Selection of books  ,online resources 
  • Fact Finding from Print or E resources 
  • Telling the users how to access e-resources or card catalogue .
  • Information Literacy 
  • Promoting reference Service 
  • Answering reference Queries 
Reference Librarian -  A Person who Provides reference Service is called a reference Librarian.
Qualities -  
  • well Qualified 
  • Up to date 
  • Good personality 
  • Good Communication Skills 
  • User Friendly 
  • Patience 
Reference Desk -   The reference desk or information desk of a library is a public service counter where professional librarians provide library users with direction to library materials, advice on library collections and services, and expertise on multiple kinds of information from multiple sources.
Different mode of providing Reference 
  1. Face to face Reference Service 
  2. Virtual reference Service 
  • Email 
  • Chat 
  • SMS 
  1. Reference Service through Telephone
Reference Queries and Information Sources 
Sr.No. Queries Type of Sources Examples
Books published in a country; books published on a country; books published by citizens of a country
Bibliographical Sources
. INB(Indian National Bibliography) 
 ii. BNB(British National Bibliography), etc.
Meaning , definition, pronunciation, etc. of any word.
General Dictionaries
i. Oxford English Dictionary 
.ii. Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary
Style of writing references, citations
i. Chicago Manual of Style 
 ii. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers
Information about records created and maintained worldwide
records created and maintained worldwide Almanacs
i. Guinees World Records ii. Limca Book of Records
Books available in market on any particular subject
Trade Bibliography
i. Indian Books in Print
 ii. Whitaker’s Books in Print
Current happenings in India
Current Information Source
i. Asian News Digest
Statistics on population, education, income, health
Statistical Source
i. Census of India 
ii. Statistical Abstract India
iii. United Nations Statistical Yearbook
Meaning of any medical word
Subject Dictionaries
i. Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary
Current happenings in India
Current Information Source
Asian News Digest
Some Question related to Reference Service 
Q.1 Who Said that “ reference Service is a Personal service between readers and Document 
Ans: S R Ranganathan 
Q.2.In Which University in India  the Term Reference Bibliography was approved ?
Ans: Madras University
Q.3 In Which Country Reference Service Begin ?
Ans: America 
Q.4 Who coined term reference Interview ?
Ans.Margret  Hutchin.
Q.5. The Term Reference Service  conceived by 
Ans:Samuel Green
Q.6.Who termed Personal  assistant to user as “humanisim in Practice”
Ans: Foskett
Q.7. Providing Information on the basis of  an expressed demand is called 
Ans:Responsive Service 
Q.8. Reference Service of fact finding nature is called 
Ans:Ready reference Service 
Q.9.What is Virtual Reference Service ? 
Ans:To Provide the reference service From Internet.
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