Reference Interview

A reference interview is a conversation between you and a library user that helps you understand the users needs. Begin by asking the user. During the interview show interest in the user's needs and focus on what they are asking you. Listen to them and paraphrase back what you believe they need. Ask for clarification if you are not sure what they are asking. Engage the user as you search for what they need.  Offer a referral to a librarian or library staff member if you need assistance.  Provide the user with an answer. Check back with the user to make sure that the answer provides them with an answer or next step suggestion.



A referral is when you refer a user for a consultation or further information. After conducting a reference interview and providing the user with the information you are able to provide direct the user to the appropriate department, a staff person, or the consultation form. Contact the office or individual if they are unavailable  provide the user with the contact information or consultation form. 

LibChat Instructions