Traditionally reference librarians were scouts in guiding and locating information from a seemingly barren desert landscape. The rise of the digital medium turned the librarian’s mission on its head. In today’s world, reference librarians help wade through an information ocean to retrieve what’s credible, accurate and useful for library users.
So when you feel overwhelmed in trying to find useful information among the tsunami of noise, opinion, deception and propaganda of the Internet, call in the professionals. The ZB Library’s staff of reference professionals can guide you in that exploration. Whatever the scope of the request, reference librarians can assist in retrieving the information, data or item you seek.
The sherpas on the Adult and Youth reference desks are every cardholder’s best information resource. Skilled and experienced in the craft of finding sources of information, they cut right to the chase to guide you to information that’s credible and verified.
Asking a question to a reference librarian is not a bother. It’s what they do. They provide assistance and instruction in exploring the library’s collections and using its services, including assistance in identifying library materials and services needed to answer a reference question, the location of materials and use of the digital catalog, and instructions on how to use all components of the public computer system.
More than just producers of information, ZB Library reference librarians are your personal information literacy consultants who specialize in retrieving information from the digital ocean. The basic technique they use is a reference interview, in which they’ll ask probing questions to determine your specific need and the scope of your inquiry. Information from the interview will give them an idea of where to explore to retrieve good information that will meet your reference request.
Reference librarians will also teach you how to use the library’s extensive array of electronic resources, to help guide your information expedition and others you might have in the future.