Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version



Published in Library Philosophy and Practice (2011) 5 p.


The paper examines the role of communication in effective reference services. Specific objectives include examining the effect of communication on reference services, discovering the duties of reference librarians, determining the impact of interpersonal communication on reference services, and identifying barriers to effective communication. Inferiority complex, stereotypes, etiquette and decorum, boundaries in relationships, low level of education, and frustration due to poor working condition were identified as some of the barriers that impede effective communication in reference services. The paper concludes by charging reference librarians to build strong capacity in the area of communication to enable them understand and meet the information needs of their patrons.