In 2000, the SQI
Assessment Group evaluated how the Yale University
Library was collecting statistics for the public services sections of
the ARL Annual Statistics and recommended that the Library move to a sampling methodology for
gathering reference statistics.
Read the Assessment
Group's report for the background on the method and rationale.
The Yale University Library uses the Association of Research
definition of a reference transaction.
A reference transaction is:
an information contact that
involves the knowledge, use, recommendations, interpretation, or instruction
in the use of one or more information sources by a member of the library staff.
The term includes information and referral service. Information sources include
(a) printed and nonprinted material; (b) machine-readable databases (including
computer-assisted instruction); (c) the library's own catalogs and other holdings
records; (d) other libraries and institutions through communication or referral;
and (e) persons both inside and outside the library. When a staff member uses
information gained from previous use of information sources to answer a question,
the transaction is reported as a reference transaction even if the source
is not consulted again.
If a contact includes both reference
and directional services, it should be reported as one reference transaction
... EXCLUDE SIMPLE DIRECTIONAL QUESTIONS. A directional transaction is an information
contact that facilitates the logistical use of the library and that does not
involve the knowledge, use, recommendations, interpretation, or instruction
in the use of any information sources other than those that describe the library,
such as schedules, floor plans, and handbooks.
© 2007 Yale University Library
This file last modified 08/28/13
Send comments to Kendall
Crilly Associate University Librarian or Maryetta