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Simulating the Reference Interview

It is well documented that what library (or archive) users ask is often NOT what they really want to know. The librarian/archivist must conduct a reference interview to find out what the user actually wants, in order to satisfy their information need.  This workshop will provide an overview of the reference interview, and discuss useful techniques to elicit users' needs and match them with available resources.  

As some skills require practice and cannot be learned from books and lectures alone, this workshop will provide an opportunity to observe these skills in a hands-on, simulated-person session.  A number of workshop attendees will be asked to volunteer as ‘learner-librarians’.  They will be partnered with an Simulated Person (actress) posing as a user with a reference question.

The Simulated Person Method (SPM) is an experiential learning method widely used in the education of health professionals.  We are applying it here, in the teaching of reference interview techniques.  SPM allows learners to practice communication skills in a safe environment, where it is allowed to make errors and try again with immediate feedback, coaching, and self-reflection. it is a fun and engaging way to learn real-world professional skills! 

Should you fail to withdraw 48+ hours in advance, thereby preventing your colleagues on the waitlist from filling in your spot, your library account will be charged $10 per missed workshop. Please note, it is your responsibility to sign next to your name on the attendance sheet for each workshop session. A blank signature spot will result in a penalty charge.

Instructors: Nalini Singh, Librarian, Reference & Public Services Coordinator, Aviv Shachak, Associate Professor, Faculty of Information, Emma Boyes, Research Assistant, and Karen Laupacis

Location: Bissell Building, 140 St George Street, Seventh Floor, 728

Thursday, January 24, 2019
4:15pm - 6:15pm
Inforum Library
St. George (Downtown) Campus
Registration has closed.

Event Organizer

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Kathleen Scheaffer