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Friday, April 20 • 11:00am - 11:40am
Passing the Torch: Reference Training for Frontline Staff

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Student staff are the face of many academic libraries, working at the service desk to help patrons with circulation and reference. At the Design Library at the University of Oregon, we have implemented a tiered reference training program that enables student staff to perform basic reference in place of librarians. Through active learning techniques similar students engage with each other, librarians, and library staff to improve their research, customer service, and reference skills. This training can be used for non-student staff as well. It also helps the library make sure front desk staff understand customer service expectations in a more concrete way and to assess their understanding of job requirements.

While creating the program we found few examples of active reference training; we are trying to fill that void by sharing our process. The presentation will illuminate the exercises we have implemented, feedback about the training, and our assessment processes. This program will be beneficial to both academic and public libraries that rely on non-librarian staff for reference transactions. Our hope is to share our program to give other libraries ideas for starting or revising reference training, and start conversations with others about their reference services.


Karen Bankole

Manager, Design Library, University of Oregon
Karen manages the Design Library at the University of Oregon and supervises the student staff. Her particular interests are small libraries, working with students, and public service.
avatar for Sara DeWaay

Sara DeWaay

Art + Architecture Librarian, University of Oregon
Sara DeWaay is the subject specialist for art, art history, and product design at the University of Oregon. Her professional interests are library instruction and programming/outreach.

Friday April 20, 2018 11:00am - 11:40am PDT
Ferber Hilton Eugene Conference Center, 66 East 6th Avenue, Eugene, OR 97401-2667 USA