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Profiles of Academic Library Reference Services Management

Profiles of Academic Library Reference Services Management

Chartered in 1885, the University of Arizona is the state’s flagship university located in Tucson, a medium-sized city approximately 60 miles north of the Mexican border in the Sonoran Desert. Arizona’s Fall 2016 enrollment was 43,625; of this total, 34,072 were undergraduate and 3,964 were international students (China, India, and Saudi Arabia sent the most students). As one of the top 25 public research universities in the United States, Arizona has two medical school campuses and a law school. The University is known for observational and theoretical astronomy and for its Steward Observatory, a leader in identifying near-Earth objects (NEOs) worldwide. Pre-business, pre-physiology, psychology, biology, pre-computer science, and undecided are Arizona’s top freshman majors. The Main Library, one of four libraries on campus, opened in 1977 and houses the Libraries’ main reference and administrative center. In 2002, an Information Commons was added on the 1st floor (that extended underground into the new Integrated Learning Center) and an addition to the 5th floor opened.


The 55-page study profiles the development and management of reference services at seven American institutions of higher education: the University of Arizona, Bowling Green State University, California State University—Fresno, Florida Atlantic University, the University of Idaho, Kaplan University and Princeton University. The study looks at a broad range of issues including but not limited to: the development of special services for international students and distance learning students, the integration of reference services with info technology assistance, tutoring, and other student services, the presentation and orientation of the reference and circulation desks, the appropriate use of student labor and other staffing and labor use issues, the development of “personal librarian programs” and other customization strategies, the proper uses of reference statistics, the integration of virtual and on-site reference services and the marketing of reference services.

Nature of the Reference Service
Staffing and Staff Assignments in Reference Services
Staff Selection and Training
International Students Frequent the Reference Desk
Tracking of Reference and Other Library Services Transactions
Tracking Unmet Library Services Needs

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