Reference & Research Assistance
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
My experience providing research assistance has taught me a few things about what people want when they approach the library for help. First and foremost, they want to be taken seriously, listened to, and treated with respect. While I can spend a great deal of time showing them them the mechanics of using a database or identifying a journal article, what will really stick with them, as Maya Angelou stated so eloquently, is how I make them feel. This is something I try to keep in mind during every reference transaction, one-on-one research appointment or any other interaction I have with library patrons.
Of course, empathy will only get you so far. Patrons want answers to their questions, too. I’ve found that it is important to clearly identify the patron’s need and focus on a resolution from the very start. I’ve acquired a great deal of experience providing reference services and research assistance to students, faculty, medical professionals and the public from diverse backgrounds and educational levels and have been able to practice and hone my skills in solution-focused reference services on a daily basis. It is one of the things I enjoy most about being a librarian and I look forward to learning something new from every patron I serve.
I am comfortable using databases and other information resources in most subject areas. In addition to library school coursework in advanced database searching, reference, and medical libraries, I have extensive experience with research in the humanities, the social sciences, business, and medicine. I am familiar with many of the essential print and online reference sources in these and other disciplines. I have also taken professional development courses in medical research and business reference and continue to pursue opportunities to learn as much as I can about research tools and strategies in various disciplines.
As Research Services Coordinator, I am responsible for the library's instruction and liaison programs and our virtual and in-person reference services. I'm also the administrator for our library's implementation of a 24/7 chat service using QuestionPoint. Although I do offer in-person training on QuestionPoint, I have also created an online staffing guide specifically for Fresno State librarians. This has helped create a single location for all QuestionPoint related issues and helps to address some of the most common problems that our librarians experience with staffing the service.
I am also responsible for the maintenance of the Research Services blog, which is used to facilitate communication amongst the librarians and student assistants we depend on to staff our Research Help desk. It is a great tool for sharing information about events, problematic assignments, database and web issues, and much more.