Fundamental Strategies for Reference Conduct

The practice of reference services requires structure and guidelines. The fundamental goal of this service is to satisfy patrons consistently. Without some standardization and basic framework, reference work cannot be considered objective or reliable.

In this 90-minute session, you’ll learn guidelines for conducting yourself on the reference desk. You’ll gain perspective on how to get support in challenging situations, how to rely on your institution's policies when interacting with patrons, and how to build a professional development support system as you build proficiency as a service provider.

After this event, participants will:

  • Understand how to put your institution’s staff manuals and codes of conduct into action
  • Understand the role of the reference provider in a larger library ecosystem
  • How to become familiar with your institution's policies related to reference performance
  • Understand the basics of ALA's Code of Ethics RUSA's Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers

Francisca Goldsmith has been teaching library staff development courses for both paraprofessionals and professional librarians in reference methods and best practices for over 20 years. She currently develops and delivers online courses for the Infopeople Project and for the American Library Association and has written several professional texts, including Crash Course in Contemporary Reference (Libraries Unlimited, 2016). Her library career has spanned public, school, and academic libraries, in reference departments, youth services, and collection management.

This event will be hosted in Zoom. Automatic captions will be enabled for this event. This event will be recorded, and registrants will receive access to the recording within a day after the event ends. Live attendance for this event is limited to 1,000 viewers; if you are unable to attend live, you will still receive access to the recording.

If you have questions or requests regarding accessibility, contact us at or at 312-280-5100.