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Reference Service

1) Give four functions of reference service implied in the definitions discussed so far. 
Assistance by personnel to readers in the use of the library and its collections; answer questions that readers ask and/or give the appropriate sources that may provide the right answers; build up a good reference collection on the basis of users' needs and; maintain them; and help readers in using them with speed and efficiency.

2) State the five factors that necessitate the provision of reference service in libraries. 
The five factors that necessitate reference service in libraries are :
i) Users' information needs and demand for intensive services;
ii) Growth of libraries° in all dimensions and their complexities;
iii) Modern tools and techniques developed for library and information services;
iv) Volume and variety of documents, both print and non-print;
v) Impact of information technology. .

3) List the dimensions in which libraries have grown. 
The growth of libraries can be seen in
i) exponential growth of publications, resulting in corresponding growth in their collections;
ii) complexities in their organisation and maintenance;
iii) tools and techniques developed by libraries for the use of documents;
iv) variety of information and library services; use of information technology for library housekeeping and services.

4) State four ways in which users communicate requests to a library for information. 
The four principal ways in which users communicate reference enquiries are:
Personal visits by users; visits by a representative of a user; user seeking assistance through telephone; and written communication through post, telegram and telex/fax.

5) List the four types of reference services offered in a library, with particular reference to users' questions or enquiries. 
 The four types of reference service with reference to use and users' questions are:
i) Directional guidance;
ii) Ready reference service;
iii) Long range reference service;
iv) General help.

6) List the steps in handling research level reference questions.
The seven steps in handling research level reference questions are :
i) Reference interview;
ii) Determination of the subject of enquiry with a precise enunciation of the topic;
iii) Identification of the primary sources that may provide the answer through searches from secondary and tertiary sources;
iv) Spotting the places of possible answers to the topic;
v) Recording the references consulted with notes and explanations;
vi) Preparing the report covering the information collected;
vii) Filling the gaps after receiving the feedback from the enquirer.

7) State what types of information may be obtained in a typical reference interview 
A reference interview may throw light on the following aspects :
i) Objective of the question and its modifications;
ii) Personality of the user;
iii) Depth of search required on the subject of enquiry and his knowledge of the possible sources;
iv) Expertise available in the library.

8) List seven anticipatory information services. 
Anticipatory information services include the following :
a) Bibliographic compilation on specific topics;
b) Current awareness service;
c) Newspaper clipping service;
d) Indexing services;
e) Abstracting service;
f) Project information files; and
g) User education programmes.

9) Explain in five sentences as to how newspaper clipping service is a kind of current awareness service. 
Newspapers report on current socio-political, techno-economic and other events and activities, Clippings of such reports as relevant to particular groups of users would be very useful to them and is generally welcome by them. Depending upon the needs of user groups the subjects covered may vary. Indexing all such clippings would also serve as a chronicle of current affairs. Thus, newspaper clipping service takes the form of a current awareness service.

10) what do you understand by project Information File ?Give your answer in  five sentences. 
Projects that are taken up for study and research by institutions need a lot of background information on the subject areas of the project. There may be several subject disciplines involved in projects where joint efforts of different experts may be required. A complete documentation of information available in journals, reports, conference papers, and similar publications in the subject areas of the
project is regularly collected and maintained up-to-date and this is called the project information file. This file provides exhaustive, current and retrospective information.

1l) State the different aspects of work to be considered for planning the operations of the reference division. 
The following factors have to be taken into account for planning the work of the reference division
a) Reference desk;
b) Reference collection;
c) Ready reference service;
d) Long range reference service:
e) Preparation and production of various types of bibliographical publications;
f) User education programmes; and Reference Service
g) Co-ordination and supervision.

12) Name the type of records of details to be maintained by the reference division. 
The reference division may maintain the following records
 a) Visitors seeking information support;
 b) Reference questions, both short and long range questions and sources consulted for answering them;
 c) Subject lists of bibliographies compiled on specific subjects; and
 d) Feedback records on other information service.

Anticipatory Services : Information service given in anticipation of demand after a general assessment of need.
Bibliographical Apparatus : A complete range of access tools to primary literature such as bibliographies, indexes, abstracts.
Kaleidoscope :  Changing patterns, as in a kaleidoscope, which is an optical instrument in which bits of glasses, beads, etc., held loose at the end of a rotating tube, are shown continuously changing symmetrical forms by reflection in two or more mirrors set at angles to each other.
Responsive Services : Reference and information services given on request to individuals.

Source: IGNOU Study Material
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