Patron Type

How to select the type of patron in Desk Tracker.

Patron Type field in Desk Tracker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click one of the links below to see specific information about that selection.

 

General Guidelines

For all reference interactions greater than five minutes in duration, please fill out the "Patron Type" field in Desk Tracker, even if you are uncertain of the patron's relationship with the University of Illinois. Feel free, during a lull in conversation, to ask the user what their relation to the University is. Certain questions, such as borrowing period lengths, necessitate knowing the Patron Type in order to be answered accurately anyways. If you have no direct evidence of the patron's affiliation with the University, you may guess according to their appearance and the nature of their question; you do not need to be absolutely positive of the accuracy of your chosen Patron Type.

While many of the items on the Patron Type list in Desk Tracker are self-explanatory, such as Undergraduate Student and Graduate Student, there are a few species of patron which may seem to belong to a gray area between categories and thus could use further elucidation. If a reference interaction involves interacting with a group whose members fall into different categories, use your best judgment in selecting a Patron Type, but do not make multiple entries to cover the multiple types of user. It may be useful to ask your self, "Which Patron Type does my answer to this question best serve?" For instance, if a professor and a research assistant ask a question together, it makes sense to select "Faculty/Staff" because the answer to the question aids the professor in his/her research, not the graduate student in his/her studies.

 

Undergraduate Student

Use this category for anyone enrolled in an Undergraduate program at the University of Illinois, including the Chicago and Springfield campuses. Often Undergraduates will ask questions related to the basics of scholarly practice, such as the meaning of secondary versus primary sources, or which databases in a certain field should be used.

Examples:

 

Graduate Student

Use this category for anyone enrolled in a graduate-level program at the University of Illinois, including the Chicago and Springfield campuses. Individuals who are taking a graduate-level class, but not formally enrolled in a program, fall under the Graduate Student category whether or not their question is pertinent to the course they are taking. Graduate students will usually ask more sophisticated questions and will already have some understanding of research techniques and academic databases.

Examples:

Faculty/Staff

Use this category for anyone employed by the University of Illinois who is not a graduate student, such as a professor emeritus, adjunct professor, guest lecturer, security guard, or maintenance worker. Questions about library policies are common from this group of people, and professors sometimes have copyright questions. Most professors will already be familiar with the research resources in their field, but may need helping accessing databases or acquiring items through inter-library loan.

Examples:

Alumni

Use this category for patrons who have graduated from the University of Illinois, including the Chicago and Springfield campuses. Alumni may have graduated with a bachelor's or more advanced degree. Any questions about Alumni access to library resources are liable to fall under this category.

Examples:

 

Outside UIUC/Non-Affiliate

Use this category for anyone outside of Champaign County who is not employed by or attending the University of Illinois, nor has graduated from it.  Also use this category for visiting students who have not yet decided to attend the University and/or their relatives if they live outside the county. A user who lives outside Champaign County but is taking a class at the University of Illinois should be classified as a Graduate Student and not in this category. In Reference, Research, and Government Information Services, many of the email questions come from Outside UIUC/Non-Affiliate patrons.

Examples:

 

Academic Outreach Student

This category is outdated and should not be used; chances are if you find yourself wanting to use the Academic Outreach Student category, you should use either Undergraduate Student or Graduate Student instead. This option may not be present in some "Patron Type" forms.

 

Local Community Member

Use this category for any resident of Champaign County who is unaffiliated with the University of Illinois; in other words, the patron is not employed by or attending the University, nor are they an alumnus.

Examples:

 

Other

This category is outdated and should not be used; chances are if you find yourself wanting to use the Other category, you should use Unknown instead. This option may not be present in some "Patron Type" forms.

 

Unknown

Use this category if you are unable to determine the patron type and cannot formulate a guess according to hints present in the patron's appearance and question, or if the patron does not seem to easily fit in any of the classifications above. If you are too uncertain or uncomfortable with your guess as to the user's relation to the University of Illinois, then feel free to select Other, but do not neglect to fill out the "Patron Type" form simply because you are unsure of their status.

Examples: