Friday, March 6, 2009

Advice from an Unlikely Source

The words in bold have been changed from the source material.

But if you are unsure of the patron's question, then [asking] a close-ended question serves you ill, because it immediately, perhaps irrevocably, moves you along the wrong track.

What does it take to succeed with open-ended questions? The librarian has to make the patron feel that he is really interested in hearing what they have to say.

Even if the librarian asks the right questions, the patron may not be forthcoming because of his emotional state. The goal of the librarian is to get to the real information need, and to do so he has to understand the patron’s emotions.”

Notes from my recent SLIS session on the reference interview. Well, yeah, they are, but you might be surprised by the source.

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