Dpl Reference Surveys: Counting Reference Questions

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| By Genine Plunkett
Genine Plunkett, Statistics
As the Manager of Reference Services at the Denver Public Library, Genine is deeply passionate about enhancing staff reference skills and emphasizing accurate usage statistics as a key indicator of the library's value to the community.
Quizzes Created: 1 | Total Attempts: 362
Questions: 10 | Attempts: 362

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Are you counting your reference questions the same way as your colleagues system-wide?   Take this quiz to learn more.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    The same customer asks you two reference questions on one visit to the desk.  How many reference questions do you enter on DART Ref Tracker?

    • A.

      One reference question because we're counting visits to the desk

    • B.

      One reference question because it was only one customer

    • C.

      Two reference questions because we're counting questions AND select "New Reference Customer" under Custom for the first question only to also count the reference customer

    Correct Answer
    C. Two reference questions because we're counting questions AND select "New Reference Customer" under Custom for the first question only to also count the reference customer
    Explanation
    The correct answer is two reference questions because we're counting questions AND select "New Reference Customer" under Custom for the first question only to also count the reference customer. This means that even though it was only one customer who asked the questions, we still count it as two reference questions because we are also tracking the fact that a new reference customer was created during the interaction.

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  • 2. 

    A customer asks you to place holds on three books about rock climbing.  How do you enter this on DART Ref Tracker?

    • A.

      Three Reference questions

    • B.

      One Procedural question

    • C.

      I don't enter this on DART Ref Tracker

    • D.

      One Reference question

    Correct Answer
    A. Three Reference questions
    Explanation
    Count each title that you place on hold as one Reference question because you will use an information source (the catalog) to locate each item separately to place each hold and you will likely interact with the customer about each item.

    Example: A customer asks for books on rock climbing and everything is checked out. You complete a subject search for "rock climbing” and get a list of several items. Because you will probably need to interact with the customer about some of the items to make sure they sound like what they want, count each one you actually place a hold on as a separate Reference question you answered. Even if you just pick 3 books from the list and place holds because the customer says they just want 3 books on the topic, count the 3 holds as 3 Reference questions, for consistency’s sake.

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  • 3. 

    You show a customer how to enter a web address on a browser and how to fill out an online job form at a public computer.  They also ask about good interviewing techniques and you show them a great interviewing skills website you know about.  How do you enter this on DART Ref Tracker?

    • A.

      One Technology question and one Reference question

    • B.

      Two Technology questions and one Reference question

    • C.

      Three Technology questions

    • D.

      Three Reference questions

    Correct Answer
    B. Two Technology questions and one Reference question
    Explanation
    If the customer’s need is the basics of how to use the computer (using a mouse, signing on, using the browser toolbar, etc.) count as Technology question(s). If you are showing the customer how to use a database or website to research the answer to an informational question, count it as a Reference question. If both things happen in the same transaction with the customer, count both types of questions.

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  • 4. 

    Reader's Advisory questions should be counted as Reference questions on DART Ref Tracker.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    Using your personal expertise or library "what to read next" resources like NoveList to recommend books to customers is very much a part of reference service.

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  • 5. 

    A customer needs information about hours and current exhibits at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and you answer by using the DMNS website.  How do you enter this on DART Ref Tracker? 

    • A.

      Two Reference questions

    • B.

      Two Directional questions

    • C.

      Two Technology questions

    Correct Answer
    A. Two Reference questions
    Explanation
    These are not Directional questions because they are about an outside agency and you needed to use an information source to answer the questions accurately. These are not Technology questions because you are not teaching the customer a specific technology skill such as how to use a mouse. If, by chance, you did also demonstrate how to use the mouse to navigate the museum website while answering the question, you would count 2 Reference questions and 1 Technology question.

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  • 6. 

    You spend a long time with one customer who is working on a research project and help them locate the following resources.  Check the box next to each item that suggests you answered a question that should be counted as a separate Reference question on DART Ref Tracker.

    • A.

      A book about the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami

    • B.

      The URL for the World Health Organization's Japan data page

    • C.

      A book about nuclear power

    • D.

      A database article about international disaster relief

    Correct Answer(s)
    A. A book about the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami
    B. The URL for the World Health Organization's Japan data page
    C. A book about nuclear power
    D. A database article about international disaster relief
    Explanation
    If a customer needs help with a research project or question, there is often more than one reference question involved. In the course of a reference interview you will be asking the customer questions to clarify their true information need. The customer’s responses may identify that their actual “question” is really more than one reference question. Each time the topic of the research changes you should count it as a separate Reference question.

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  • 7. 

    A customer asks, “Who developed the first knife?"  You explain that the answer to this question is complex because researchers have used new evidence discovered over time to come up with new theories about when humans first used knives.  You find 4 reference book articles that discuss these theories for the customer.  How do you enter this on DART Ref Tracker? 

    • A.

      Four Reference questions because you used 4 reference books to answer

    • B.

      One Reference question because you used multiple resources to fully answer only one question

    • C.

      Four Directional questions because you had to find all four books for the customer

    Correct Answer
    B. One Reference question because you used multiple resources to fully answer only one question
    Explanation
    This should be counted as one question even though you provided different resources to give a more accurate answer for one question. Providing the customer with 4 different sources will likely lead to more reference interviewing that may identify additional reference questions. For example, if the customer takes the articles and then asks for information about how archaeologists estimate the age of items found in an excavation, this should be counted as an additional Reference question about a new topic.

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  • 8. 

    Which of the following questions should be counted as Reference questions on DART Ref Tracker?

    • A.

      How do I get to the Clyfford Still Museum?

    • B.

      Where is your bathroom?

    • C.

      Where is the nearest Post Office?

    • D.

      What are the Montbello Branch hours?

    • E.

      How do I find call number 794.6?

    Correct Answer(s)
    A. How do I get to the Clyfford Still Museum?
    C. Where is the nearest Post Office?
    Explanation
    If the answer to the question is a short answer that gives simple directions without the aid of another resource or in-depth knowledge, count it is a Directional question. If you need to consult an outside agency or business website to find the information, count it as a Reference question. The major exception to this is that questions about the hours and phone numbers of other DPL locations should be counted as Directional even if staff need to check a flyer or the website for this basic info. The essential operating facts about DPL locations are something that many staff have memorized and can answer off the top of their heads many times per day without aid of another resource, so for consistency’s sake count these questions as Directional. Because we all work for DPL, we have insider knowledge about when the hours or phone numbers change, so staff normally don’t have to use research skills to locate an accurate answer quickly. Often we can just provide our in house “Hours” bookmark as the answer.

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  • 9. 

    Questions that can be answered with a free website should NOT be counted as Reference questions.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    If the question is an informational or research question and the free website provides accurate, authoritative information to answer it it should be counted as a Reference question.

    Example: A customer needs information about hours and current exhibits at the Denver Art Museum and you answer by using the DAM website. Count as 2 Reference questions. These are not Directional questions because they are about an outside agency and you needed to use an information source to answer the questions accurately.

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  • Current Version
  • Mar 20, 2023
    Quiz Edited by
    ProProfs Editorial Team
  • Jun 11, 2012
    Quiz Created by
    Genine Plunkett
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