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This paper examines reference service in academic libraries, especially as it relates to international students. This group of students may experience hardship when faced with a new cultural and educational environment which is most times different from what they are used to. After a discussion of the planning process, the Association for College and Research Libraries (ACRL) standards, and the relationship of assessment to the standards, the article will investigate the nature, objectives, and value of reference service in academic libraries along with the special problems associated with reference service for international students. Assessment practices and the particular difficulties associated with assessment will then be explored.