Library Reference Policy

Library Reference Policy Library Reference Policy

Reference Policy


This statement is for the use of Library Staff providing reference services in the SMC Library and may be made available to Library patrons.


The purpose of this statement is to explicate overall policies and guidelines for providing a high quality of reference service consistent with the available resources of the SMC Library and the American Library Association standards

American Library Association. RUSA Reference and User Services Association. (2013). Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers. Retrieved June 26, 2019 from the American Library Association/RUSA Web site


Reference Service Objectives                       

1.  Provide consistent and thorough assistance to all primary users of the Library’s collections, resources, and services.  Reference service may be provided in a number of ways as systems, staffing and patron needs change.  The primary services provided are regularly scheduled hours of service at the Reference Desk (both in-person and online), and in-depth interview and follow-up appointments for patrons with complex information and research needs.

2.  Reference staff will use every opportunity when providing the services described above, to instruct Library users, especially Saint Mary’s college students, in general and specialized information literacy skills.


The reference service policies are subject to annual review by the Reference Team and the Coordinator of Reference Services.  Some changes in procedures may be made as the need arises.  The Library Cabinet must approve changes in policy.


See entire document