Reference speed dating: Creating a spark at the reference desk

Sarah Kantor

Abstract

Reference services, whether face-to-face or virtual, have been and remain a core library service. The importance of reference services is reflected in the library and information science (LIS) curriculum, but it is often overlooked in continuing education opportunities for librarians. In both master’s degree programs and the few continuing education offerings for reference services, instructors generally focus on the reference interview. For many working librarians, this can feel rote and ineffectual. After all, they already learned this in school. Experienced librarians may also feel that the reference interview is old hat, while newer librarians would benefit more from real-world practice than a repeat of their reference class.

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