"Teach students to fish rather than feeding them the catch of the day."
Anticipate their information needs with professional resources when and where they need them.
Define the nature and extent of the information needed. Identify types of information resources available.
The following few questions might help make sure all bases are covered consistently:
Are you sure you understand the question?
Is the student looking for a specific item?
Is the student looking for a subject?
Is the question about something local?
Is your answer still “no” or “I don't know” - what else can you do?
To make the reference interactions go more smoothly try this strategy:
And to make future reference questions better, here's a checklist about patron interactions in general:
No checklist will cover every interaction, but should at least get people started down the right road.