Creative Reference Interview

ref interview cover

The Reference Interview As A Creative Art
Jennerich and Jennerich

As it is National Library Week, it is time to do some professional development. Let’s start with improving our reference interview techniques. Are they creative enough? This is the book for you.

For the most part this is standard stuff we learned in library school. If you are old enough, this could have been one of your old texts from library school. However, if you had this in a professional librarian collection, I don’t think anyone would find it helpful. By the way this was weeded from a public library pro collection. (In actuality, I bet someone dumped a textbook from library school into the collection and I’m willing to bet after the cataloger put it in the collection, it never moved until it was weeded in 2019.

Someone I worked for in the very olden days, spoke exactly like the book’s scripts. It was weirdly robotic, and I know she must have memorized an entire script before she talked to someone. She really didn’t like the “public”.  Pro tip: Maybe you should re think a career in public libraries if you don’t like the public.


actor's tool more questions reference interview questions


  1. Oh, the reference interview!

    There was always a slight hint of ‘Jaws’ music in the back of my head when a patron approached the reference desk. Usually things were fine but there were several classes of patrons who caused problems.

    1) The people who think that asking simple questions mean that you’re going to report them to the FBI for terrorism.

    2). The people who think that being friendly means you’re coming on to them and expect a date.

    3) The people who want you to help with their earth-shaking theory but won’t tell you exactly what that is. If they tell you, you will run with their harebrained scheme and rob them of millions of dollars by publishing it first. ‘Psychic Sasquatch’ anyone?

Comments are closed.