READ (Reference Effort Assessment Data) Scale

The READ Scale (Reference Effort Assessment Data Scale) © Bella Karr Gerlich




1.     Verfiy that your library has had Desk Tracker modified to include the READ scale

2.     Record a READ scale number (1-6) for each question answered, on- or off-desk

3.     Include your status (SA, GA, staff, Faculty, etc.)

4.     In the Description field, include the following elements, particularly for questions rated at 3-6.  Be Brief.

        a.     The question asked

        b.     Sources consulted

        c.     Indicate whether the question was successfully completed

5.     Be sure to note where/to whom a question was referred.


Off-Desk Statistics

Studies suggest that most reference staff do not record, with any regularity, the transactions that occur away from the desk - this can result in large data sets being lost, in terms of reporting effort / knowledge / skills etc.  We strongly recommend anyone using the READ Scale also keep statistics OFF-DESK in their office. It is important to gather as much of this data as possible; data gathered to date shows a pattern of higher level questions being answered in offices, as opposed to at the traditional reference desk, and many reference staff do not as a matter of habit record these statistics, resulting in lost data and skewing the total number of reference transactions that actually occur at a library, but are often not counted.  Counting off-desk reference transactions adds to the bottom line when measuring value-added reference service. Statistics from the spring 2007 READ study confirmed that the majority of transactions recorded away from the public service point were given a READ Scale level of 3 and above, where the opposite where true of the reference desk.  DeskTracker can be used off-desk in offices or even when working from home.


READ (Reference Effort Assessment Data) Scale©

Bulleted Format


General Notes:


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