Reference Policy

Reference services involve interaction between students/faculty, the librarian, and information resources.  Prescott College librarians work with everyone in the College community, and with other Prescott community patrons as time permits, and adhere to the mission, vision and values of the Reference and User Services of the American Library Association.

The librarian's goal in the reference process is to create information literate students who can, per ACRL Information Literacy Standards and Guidelines:

  • Determine the nature and extent of the information needed
  • Access needed information effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically and incorporate selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system
  • Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
  • Understand many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and uses information ethically and legally

Services include:

  • Answering questions, in person and via electronic access (telephone, email, skype, etc.)
  • Personal instruction for help in finding and using any of the library's print or electronic resources, including using online resources more efficiently. Appointments with the librarian(s) are encouraged
  • Class instruction is available, and encouraged. Input from, and attendance by, faculty is strongly encouraged. Classroom meetings are based on the course syllabus or a particular assignment, and include course specific web pages, handouts, and hands-on use of library resources tailored specifically for a particular class or class project
  • In-depth research: Librarian(s) will consult and assist on any faculty or student research project. The faculty/student will be an active participant in order to evaluate materials, and learn the research process
  • Referrals: Librarian(s) will refer patrons to other libraries or sources of information when necessary. This includes searching other library catalogs to broaden a book search, and seeing whether a library located near an off-campus student may have the resources the student needs. Referrals include information on local Interlibrary Loan services
  • Publications: Instructional and informational handouts, including print, online, PowerPoint, and video formats, are provided to increase awareness and maximize efficient use of the library's resources
  • Internet: Librarian(s) create, update, and maintain web pages with links to a variety of information appropriate for the Prescott College community. The librarian(s) welcome input from the community on content

The Reference Collection

The library collects non-circulating materials such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, style manuals, and bibliographies designed for subject overviews or gateways to more specific information. Many of these resources are available in both print and electronic formats.


updated February 2009

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