Winter Term 2020 Blog Post #1

I think that the “Ethical Aspects of Reference Service” was a very interesting chapter because before I read it had not crossed my mind that there are some cases in which one would be in a personal battle about providing an easier way to access certain information to certain individuals or to hold back that information to them. One case study that interested me was that of “To be or not to be” with Melissa, a teenager that had tried to “hurt herself” in the previous year and now seemed distressed and was asking the reference librarian if they could show her how to find a certain book that was about how to commit suicide. This case caught my attention because the librarian could assume that the book is to be used for personal use, but the reality is that one never know for what reasons that person needs those books, articles, or E-resources for. The expectation here would be that one would provide Melissa the book because it is a librarian’s responsibility to provide equal access to all but it seems that each case should be taken into consideration differently depending on the situation.

From the times that I have assisted people at the reference desk and even in the circulation desk, I can say that it is very important to look friendly and begin the conversation. One notices the cues that the patron is unsure if it is okay to approach you, so I greet them and ask them how I could help them. With that, I believe that it sets a somewhat comfortable setting for the patron for them to ask me in what they need assisting with. So, greeting and giving that initial question does help ease that initial tension that the patron may have that impedes them from seeking help from the librarian or person currently working at the desk.

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