The primary goal of the Binghamton University Libraries’ Reference Services is to provide assistance to the University community in identifying and accessing an extensive range of print and electronic resources for teaching, learning and research.
Reference services are provided by Librarians, professional staff, and well trained student assistants.
Reference staff aim to help users become self-sufficient in their use of information resources. Whenever possible, staff will help users to refine their inquiries, understand the range of available tools for answering questions, and select appropriate resources.
Services: We offer open and equitable access to information by providing both a physical and a virtual environment conducive to positive interaction. We develop collections and services appropriate to our community and in keeping with the ALA Library Bill of Rights.
Reference services are primarily intended for the faculty, students, and staff of Binghamton University but other individuals will be provided with assistance. Services are available on site, by telephone, and through the online Ask a Librarian service. Users in need of more extensive assistance may be advised to visit the library or be referred to a subject specialist.
In-person Service – Our personalized service is available to help you Discover the rich collections in the BU Libraries, identify and use electronic and print reference tools, formulate research strategies, locate research material worldwide, and answer specific informational questions.
Telephone Service - Reference assistance given by telephone will generally be brief.
Ask a Librarian Service – We provide reference service via email, text, Instant Messenger/Chat. Responses to email inquiries will usually be sent within twenty-four hours except on weekends and holidays. Reference assistance give by text and IM/Chat will generally be brief.
Reference Staff will
Code of Ethics - All interactions between library staff and patrons will be governed by the standards articulated in the ALA Code of Ethics which promulgates upholding principles of intellectual freedom, protecting each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality, and striving for excellence.
Legal, Medical, Business Advice - The Libraries cannot provide legal, medical, or business advice. Patrons will be referred to sources of information from which they may draw their own conclusions. We endorse the ALA Guidelines for Medical, Legal and Business Responses.
Assessment - The library periodically monitors the quality of reference services provided to see that they meet or exceed established service standards. We also provide opportunities for users to offer feedback and recommendations regarding references services and will respond to this feedback in an appropriate and timely manner.