Doe/Moffitt Reference, Research, and Collections Department

University of California, Berkeley

Workshops on Reference Services

In the next 1 ½ hours you will be working in small groups with colleagues throughout Doe/Moffitt to discuss how references services provided at reference desks should function and complement each other, and what other reference and referral services will be maintained or created to serve users of the Doe and Moffitt Libraries. We will be using the recommendations of the Task Force on Reference and Information Services as our guideline. You will work in small groups facilitated by volunteers who do not work in Doe/Moffitt. Comments from the two workshops will be compiled and used by Doe/Moffitt Unit Heads to write program statements for each service component. Representatives from the three subject councils will join DMUH in that process.

  1. With one general reference desk in Doe, and one general reference desk in Moffitt, describe the services we should be providing at each location. Include anything that comes to mind, but be sure to address each of the following in your discussion:
Sample questions you might answer:
As you make your suggestions, state why it is in the best interest of the user.
  1. How should these two services complement each other?
  2. How should these two services complement reference services offered in other libraries on campus? In SSEALS?
  1. Since time is limited, select any of the following to answer:
Task Force on Reference and Information Services in Doe/Moffitt

Excerpts from the Final Report

The Vision

The Task Force envisions a reinvigorated reference and research environment for the users of the Doe and Moffitt Libraries. The new Doe/Moffitt Reference and Research Service, conceived as a single unit with complementary service points in Doe and Moffitt and served by an expert and well-trained staff, will provide convenient access to expanded research and reference collections and offer both in-person and remote reference and research service at all levels in the disciplines collected in Doe and Moffitt Libraries. In our vision the Doe/Moffitt Reference and Research Service is located at the centers of library activity: the current Moffitt Information Gateway and the first floor of Doe Library.

However, because suitable first floor space is not currently available, we make the following interim recommendation:

Locate the Doe Library Research Center on the second floor of Doe. The Research Center reference service will be located in the Subject Hall; the Center's collection will be shelved in the Subject Hall, the North Reading Room, and the present GSSI. The non-circulating research collection will be shelved in the North Reading Room and other second floor locations

The Doe/Moffitt Reference & Research Service consists of two major elements: the Moffitt Library Reference & Information Gateway and the Doe Library Research Center

The following recommendations are built on and express this vision.

Reference & Research Service Configuration

  1. New Model for Reference & Research Service--Recommendation 1:
The Task Force's overarching recommendation is to create the Doe/Moffitt Reference & Research Service, a user-centered, complementary reference and research service for Doe and Moffitt Libraries, integrating humanities and social sciences reference service in Doe and Moffitt Libraries.

Managed as a single unit, the Doe/Moffitt Reference & Research Service will deliver its services with a core staff whose primary assignment is to provide reference service. The audience for the Doe/Moffitt Reference Service is members of the campus community (faculty, graduate and undergraduate students) requiring assistance with humanities, social sciences, government documents, and area studies research and materials, as well as visiting scholars, independent researchers, and members of the surrounding community, including users of government depository materials.

Recommendation 1A:
Combine the reference services of the Information Gateway, Government and Social Science Information Service, Information Center, and Humanities/Area Studies (unstaffed since 1997 seismic closure) to create a new Reference & Research Service to support information, bibliographic instruction, general and specialized reference and scholarly research in the humanities, social sciences, general sciences, and area studies.

Recommendation 1B:
Staff the public service desks of the Doe/Moffitt Reference Service with librarians and library assistants. Selected Doe/Moffitt librarians (including subject specialists), curatorial assistants, and library assistants at level IV or V will provide the majority of the hours needed. The largest percentage of coverage will be provided by librarians. Support may be provided by other Library units through rotational assignments. The Task Force recommends the broadest possible participation of librarians in the Doe/Moffitt Reference Service; staff may require support in reconfiguring their assignments to reflect this new emphasis.

Recommendation 1D:
Support the Doe/Moffitt Reference Service with multi-format reference collections: the Doe Library Research Center will have a robust introductory-level to research-level reference collection, representing all of the subjects collected for the Gardner Stacks. The Moffitt Library Reference & Information Gateway will have a small, duplicative, collection of print and other reference materials to supplement the digital reference sources already in use. The composition of these collections shall be determined by the Doe/Moffitt reference staff. The Doe Research Center will also house a research collection.

Recommendation 1E:
Increase reference service hours at the public service desks to a total minimum of 136 hours of reference service per week for the combined Doe/Moffitt Reference & Research Service. The scheduling and distribution of hours should be decided by the Head of the Doe/Moffitt Reference & Research Service in conjunction with the staff.

Recommendation 1F:
Supplement the reference and research assistance provided at the public desks with a coordinated, well-publicized system through which users may meet individually, during scheduled office hours or by appointment, with library subject and language specialists.

Rationale: The Task Force believes this reference and research service model is essential to meet the needs of the wide-ranging Doe/Moffitt user population. The significant organizational and service integration resulting from the reconfiguration of reference collections, staffing, and management will allow us to create a unified reference service identity for Doe/Moffitt and to strengthen both research- and introductory-level reference service. Increasing the number of service hours will allow users more and timelier access to reference staff. In addition, this model enables The Library to support more vigorously the research needs of campus scholars.

Recommendation 2:
We concur with the recommendation of the Task Force on Library Services to Undergraduates that a significant reference service be located in Moffitt Library. We recommend the creation of the Moffitt Library Reference & Information Gateway, and that the current Information Gateway and surrounding areas should be reconfigured as the site of reference service, accommodating the reference staff, library information system workstations as well as a small clearly focussed print reference collection. The Reference & Information Gateway will provide introductory-level reference service; users requiring research-level reference service will be referred to the Doe Library Research Center or specialized subject libraries as appropriate. We anticipate the largest audience for the Moffitt Library Information Gateway will continue to be undergraduate students. However, any member of the campus community requiring help getting started on a topic in the subjects collected in the Gardner Stacks is also part of the Information Gateway's primary audience.

Rationale: An introductory-level reference service in Moffitt Library would primarily serve the information and bibliographic instructional needs of lower division undergraduates and answer incidental basic questions of students and faculty who happen to be on the premises. Adding a small print reference collection to the current Information Gateway will enhance the staff's ability to provide more effective reference assistance.

Recommendation 3:
Create the Doe Library Research Center to strengthen research-level reference service and collections in the humanities, social sciences, and area studies by integrating the Information Center and GSSI and increasing the available print and digital resources. Located on the first floor of the Doe Library, the Doe Research Center will offer comprehensive reference service, from introductory- to research-level and will contain a substantial reference collection to supplement the digital reference tools available. It will also offer a convenient place for research reading and browsing. Accessible print reference collections will combine those now located in the Information Center, Humanities/Area Studies, and GSSI, affording users a richer view of the reference resources available. Selected titles currently in the stacks can be transferred to the reference collection.

Rationale: The Doe Library Research Center will bring together the expertise of humanities, social sciences and government documents staff in one easily identifiable and well-staffed reference service point, creating a robust multi-disciplinary reference service for students and faculty, and enabling the more efficient use of staff resources. The quality of reference service will be enhanced as reference staff are brought into closer contact with a more substantial print and electronic reference collection, and with each other. Staff will have enhanced competencies in teaching patrons the use of a wider variety of print materials. Working together, staff will also be able to share expertise, creating a more broadly trained pool of experienced staff.

Recommendation 9:
The Task Force recommends that the Information Center space continue to provide an open bank of networked workstations, located in relatively close proximity to the Doe Circulation Department, for the convenience of those who need to use the online catalogs and other systems but do not require reference and research services. We recommend that this area be staffed on a limited basis, in order to provide a staff "presence," troubleshoot and report hardware problems, assist with basic questions involving the catalogs and databases, and refer users to the Reference & Research Center or other appropriate desk. Assistance in this entry corridor might also be provided via intercom telephones or electronic "chat" or videoconferencing through the public workstations.

Recommendation 10:
In order to assist users in navigating Doe Library, the Task Force recommends that the door monitor kiosks at the south and north entrances of Doe Library become information kiosks, staffed by student library employees. Currently the kiosk staff informally provide directional assistance; we recommend that kiosk staff be formally charged with this responsibility and receive appropriate training. The kiosk staff would continue to monitor exiting patrons. The Task Force recommends that the kiosk staff report to the AUL-Doe/Moffitt, the office responsible for Doe public service.

Rationale: We anticipate an increased need for directional assistance to help mitigate the interim absence of a significant reference or information point on the first floor of Doe Library.