Reference Department Policies

We are committed to providing accurate and efficient reference service in person, by telephone, or via e-mail.

We are committed to maintaining a well-rounded and current reference collection in both print and electronic formats.

Staff provides answers to “ready reference” types of inquiries that can be readily determined from standard sources. For inquiries requiring extensive research or interpretation of materials, staff assists the user in selecting appropriate sources and offers instruction in the use of those sources.

The amount of time staff can spend assisting patrons is necessarily limited by the needs of other users. Time limits vary according to the complexity of the inquiry, library experience of the patron, the number of other patrons needing assistance, and the number of staff available.

Branch reference librarians will assist patrons within the confines of the Branch collection, and, when necessary, will call Lawrence Reference to fax or e-mail articles that would save the patron from having to travel to Lawrence.

If Lawrence reference staff cannot provide you with an answer, we can refer your question to a network of Statewide Reference support libraries.

Staff cannot offer appraisals of rare books, coins, stamps, or any other collectible. We will direct the patron to print and electronic sources that offer reviews and evaluations.

Staff also cannot offer advice, interpretations or opinions on legal, tax, consumer, or medical issues. Staff assists patrons in locating and using sources.

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