Reference Service Policy



The Reddick Public Library District serves a diverse public with unique individual needs and levels of ability to conduct research independently. Providing reference service is one of the roles of the library. Providing both a trained staff and materials to meet users’ needs for timely, accurate, and useful information are goals of the library. The Library encourages all patrons to seek the assistance of staff to meet their information needs. 


Effort is made to answer all types of questions with no distinction made about the purpose of the inquiry or use of the information. All questions are handled in confidence and with impartiality. The Reddick Public Library District subscribes to the American Library Association’s Code of Ethics and the most recent standards document, Serving Our Public 2.0: Standards for Public Libraries, for both reference and reader’s advisory services.


Reference service and materials are available to all persons. Reference service and materials are available during all hours the library is open and are provided in response to all forms of inquiry including, but not limited to, patrons in the library, telephone, and electronic means. The reference questions of patrons visiting the library are given the highest priority.


Staff will complete a search of in-house and electronic sources to answer a question. Patrons are given the source of the information as well as the answer.  If determining the answer requires reading and evaluating an extensive amount of text, the staff will direct the patron to the appropriate sources. The patron will be responsible for completing the necessary synthesis.  A staff member’s personal opinion will not be given as fact.  In the instance of legal, medical, investment, or tax reference questions, the staff may only guide the patron to the material available on the topic of interest. Staff may not evaluate or interpret the information provided nor may the staff define the meaning of terms, offer investment advice, select income tax forms, or serve as a surrogate for a professional in any of the fields listed above. If all materials within the library are beyond the understanding of the patron, the patron will be advised to consult with their professional from the above listed field for additional information or advice.


If information appropriate to a patron’s need is not available in the Library, a referral will be made. Staff will make every attempt to answer a patron’s question during the patron’s visit or telephone call. Otherwise, questions usually will be answered within 24 hours. When a library patron cannot come to the library  due to a disability or unusual circumstances, staff will mail materials, excluding tax forms. Patrons will be charged fees related to requests. Non-Reddick Public Library District cardholders must request materials from their home library. Genealogy information unique to Reddick Public Library District will be provided for a fee.


Reference and reader’s advisory services comply with copyright and other applicable restrictions in the use of library materials.               

Reference materials, regardless of format, may not be removed from the library.


Approved 2/14/05

Amended by Board 10/12/09