Reference and Information Services

Scheduled Dates

December 13 - 16, 2021 2 pm - 4 pm CST (Register Now)

Course Details
Course Type: 
Topic Area: 
Target Audience: 
Librarians and paraprofessionals new to reference and information services or who would like to refresh their skills. This class is approved for the ALA Library Support Staff Certification Program.
Course Description

This course will introduce you the key concepts and tools necessary in reference and information services. You will study and discuss approaches to reference and information services; become knowledgeable about the application of core reference principles and information technologies as they relate to daily activities of library and information providers; and explore and analyze real-world reference issues as they pertain to resource selection, user privacy and confidentiality. The course is also designed to encourage you to update your reference source materials and to provide you with opportunities to interact with and learn from colleagues from a variety of libraries across the country.

This course will be presented in four units:

  • Core reference skills
  • Knowing your library’s collection and research skills
  • Reference resources
  • Legal and ethical issues in reference services

This class is approved for the ALA Library Support Staff Certification Program.

Learning Objectives

Through in-class and homework discussions and activities, by the end of the course students will

Demonstrate knowledge by:

  1. Examining the general scope of the library’s print, non-print, and digital collections, including areas of strength and specialized collections.
  2. Understanding legal issues involved in reference services, including user privacy, confidentiality, and copyright.
  3. Identifying basic reference, information, and community resources in print, non-print, and digital formats to conduct and support basic research/reference inquiries.
  4. Explaining classification and organization schemes for collection.
  5. Explaining basic search methods, display options, and terminology of the library's catalog, website, and other information access tools.

Demonstrate skills by:

  1. Conducting effective reference interviews, helping users define their information needs and determine when referrals are necessary.
  2. Instructing and assisting users in basic research procedures, including digital literacy skills.
  3. Helping users select the most appropriate information resource to meet their needs, and evaluate the quality, currency, and authority of information retrieved.
  4. Identifying and locate information in all formats, and assist users in retrieving materials from local and non-local sources.


Homework Expectations

The course will be a combination of lectures, reading, written assignments, exercises, and presentations. Students will be expected to complete at least one assignment or project related to each objective and participate in in-class discussions and exercises.

  • This course requires individual participation and homework assignments.
  • It is designed for individual participation; each individual must register.
Session Information
Session Duration: 
This course consists of four 2-hour sessions.
Contact Hours: 
Amigos Member Early Bird Fee: 
Amigos Member Fee: 
Non-member Early Bird Fee: 
Non-member Fee: