A reference question is a question that involves the knowledge, use, recommendations, interpretation, or instruction in the use of one or more information sources by a member of the library staff. The term includes information and referral service. Information sources include (a) printed and non-printed material; (b) machine-readable databases (including computer-assisted instruction); (c) the library's own catalogs and other holdings records; (d) other libraries and institutions through communication or referral; and (e) persons both inside and outside the library. [from Reference and User Services Association. Definitions of Reference [Association of Research Libraries (ACRL). Chicago, IL: American Libraries Association]
First, you should try the reference desk, which is joined to circulation desk. A librarian is usually stationed at the reference desk during official reference hours. If no one is at the reference desk, then inquire at the circulation desk for a reference librarian.
The reference desk is staffed Monday - Thursday, 10 am - 10 pm, Friday - Saturday, 10 am - 5 pm, and Sunday, 1 pm - 10 pm. Librarians are generally available to answer reference questions during regular business hours, Monday - Friday, 10 am - 5 pm. Graduate assistants are available to answer your questions at all other listed times.
Yes. The phone number for the Funk ACES Library reference desk is (217) 244 - 2249. You can e-mail reference questions to the Funk ACES Library at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes, by all means! You really are not interrupting; we are waiting for questions. Our patrons are our first priority, and we want to help you as much as possible.
You can expect librarians to help you find information, but their methods will vary based on the situation. They may consult reference resources and give you a direct answer. If you need to find a particular book or article, they might show you how to use the online catalog to find the item. Librarians may also instruct you in the use of databases or the Internet so that you can perform research yourself. They may give you a few terms or articles to help you begin a search, or they may begin the search for you. If you are having difficulty with your search, the librarians may find several sources for you. Finally, if the librarians are unable to help you themselves, they will try to refer you to someone who can help.
Any request for information is appropriate. Librarians can show you how to locate a book, find information for you, teach you to use resources, help you with research and refer you to others who can help. If a question does not pertain to the subject areas covered in the ACES Library, it is still considered appropriate. However, the librarians may send you to a library more suited to your question. The most important thing to remember is never be afraid to ask a question.