Most reference librarians would like reference statistics to reflect all aspects of reference work. They would also like the task of keeping statistics to be simple. However, there is nothing simple about reference service. While spending more and more time helping individual students at their workstations, away from the reference desk, reference librarians still have to remember to mark statistics when they return to the reference desk. They realize that detailed information as to the type of questions asked at the desk would be helpful in guiding librarians while providing user instruction. Such details would also provide information on the impact of resource changes and technology in the library. However, the librarians do not have time to collect such detailed statistics while serving the patrons. They feel that helping the patron is more important than marking statistics on the sheet. As a result many questions go as unmarked. Traditional counting methods do not reflect what resources are most helpful or which formats require increased time with users.

Publication Date

Spring 2006