Comparing Reference Services
Reference Services Comparison
Reference Services Comparison
We decided to write our report on the World War II, and the Canadian Involvement in that war.This is a subject full of historical importance, and we expect find plenty information to use. We intend to conduct our research mostly using online sources. In the same way, we aim to compare and contrast what we can see, what we have researched, and what we have surveyed.
In this report, we are asked to write a reference system comparison, in order to gain thorough understanding of the subject. However, regardless of our research being web-based, the reference system stays the same. We shall group every system we used, and report our search experiences separately, afterwards, we shall group them and contrast them.
We went to the Halifax Center Library. When we first talked to the librarian via phone they were really kind and gave us pointers on how to research accordingly on the subject we were looking. However, the lady we spoke to encouraged us to go there personally, which we did.
We will refer to our research in 5 basic items, found in the Guidelines of the Successful reference interview from American Library Association (2015), these are: Approachability; interest: listening/inquiring; searching; and the follow-up.
1. Approachability: As we stated before, the lady on the phone was really kind, the same happened with the lady at the front desk, whose name was Sam. She had the references in hand and visible, she assisted us in our search, and when she could not, she referred us to other parts of the library where we could find the information we were looking, at ourselves. Nonetheless, she asked us about our research and tried to offer all the information she could.
2. Interest: The lady seemed to be really interested in our search but told us that our search terms were quite broad, she helped us refining our search and offered us a book that could assist us with our search. We considered ourselves pretty satisfied with her attention.
3. Listening/Inquiring: Sam was able to identify what our research was about, she listened to all our concerns and offered us alternatives on what to research and where to do it. Her tone of voice was cordial, yet formal and she avoided jargon when she needed to explain something about the references system. As we stated before, she told us that our research terms were pretty broad and that we might need to refine them.
4. Searching: When helping us, the reference lady pointed us to a book with introductory information on the subject. In this case, since we had no prior knowledge of the subject in hand, she offered us an introductory alternative. She verified that our research terms had no mistakes and offered us a title relevant to our research. The book she pointed us to was: Canada in the Post-Ward: Economic Possibilities (1945) its library code was 971.063C2121 and talked about the economic conditions and aspects of the war.
5. Follow-up: After our research, the lady asked us if we found everything we needed and offered us further help or references regarding the theme. We have to say that it was a pretty nice experience.
To do our online research we decided to search in the Nova Scotia Archives web page, whose catalogue proved to be really helpful.
We will refer to the same 5 found in the Guidelines of the Successful reference interview from American Library Association (2015), these are: Approachability; interest: listening/inquiring; searching; and the follow-up. Nevertheless, we shall use the version adapted for the online research.
1. Approachability: The Archive’s page is quite simple to use, the search box is highly featured and offers ease of access. The page offers further assistance within a phone call.
2. Interest: The page is easy to use and tries to keep it user-friendly by trying to be as close to the public as possible. We sent an inquiry and they responded us with an automated but well-written message offering us some suggestions.
3: Listening/Inquiring: The page prompted us to a page with the references we needed to advance our research. Our research was private and confidential.
4. Searching: The page offered us all the tools at its disposal in order for us to fulfill our request. It offered us visual resources, catalogues, and books to aid in our research.
5. Follow-up: Regarding the follow-up, the page offered none.
What we could see in our report was that regardless how much you try to humanize web pages it is hard to fully convey the human interaction. In the same light, a library cannot beat the convenience of having a the possibility of researching on your own terms, from home or even from a different country. In terms of human interaction, the library will always be better. This means that you can actually be guided by a human, a person who knows your search interests and have the tools to assist you with your research. While the online-based resources can have a plethora of information that can be stored on the internet, they are not necessarily user-friendly. The one we used in our report is, but that is always the case. We have learnt that both resources are equally useful, but to us, the whole academic and sober atmosphere of a library will always beat the internet.
Guidelines for the Successful Reference Interview from American Library Association. (2015) Retrieved from: http://www.archives.gov/boston/volunteers/reference-interviews.pdf
Halifax Central Library Retrieved from: http://halifaxcentrallibrary.ca/
MemoryNS (MemoryNS). Retrieved from: https://memoryns.com
Nova Scotia Archives ~ novascotia.ca/archives/ (Nova Scotia Archives). Retrieved from: http://novascotia.ca/archives/