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Reference Sampling Program
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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 Libraries 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 Russell, LAS

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