Reference Services Policy
Emma Waters Summar Library, Union University
Revised July 2010
The primary purpose of reference services at Summar Library is to support the research, teaching, and learning needs of Union University faculty, students, and staff. Union's reference librarians strive to provide the highest quality reference service to meet users' research needs and to help students develop into independent, life-long learners. Although reference services are intended for current students, faculty, and staff of Union University, librarians will answer questions from users outside the Union community as time permits.
Ready Reference – answering patron questions in a few minutes using standard reference tools (both print and online). These questions may be answered in person, over the phone, through online chat, by submitting a query to the library's webpage, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individual Research Assistance – providing in-depth research assistance and training on library resources, including databases, OPAC, and web searching. This type of assistance is conducted in person and may require an appointment with a research coach.
Information Literacy Instruction – providing training on specific library resources or research skills to a group of students. This type of instruction is typically initiated by a faculty member and can occur in the library or in the classroom. Faculty may request a session by completing the Library Instruction Request form.
The library provides access to a wide variety of electronic resources to meet the user's research needs, including databases, e-books and electronic journals. Off-campus access to most of these resources is restricted to currently enrolled students, faculty, and staff.
Print Reference Collection
The library maintains a print reference collection which includes general and specialized dictionaries, encyclopedias, bibliographies, directories, almanacs, and atlases. A ready reference collection contains the most frequently used items, including a variety of style manuals.