Reference is my classroom: Setting instructional goals for academic library reference services

Susan Avery, David Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The reference encounter provides a unique one-on-one teaching opportunity. While studies have examined different methods for providing instruction in reference, few have focused on identifying, defining, and implementing standardized instructional goals. This study identifies, tests, and analyzes specific instructional goals for reference services, using Association of College and Research Libraries' Information Literacy Competency Standards in an examination of chat transcripts. The findings suggest ways to strategically support the development of information competency and critical thinking skills through reference services. Finally, the study provides training tools for recognizing instructional opportunities in reference encounters and suggests specific librarian actions for taking advantage of those opportunities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-51
Number of pages17
JournalInternet Reference Services Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Chat
  • Information literacy
  • Instruction
  • Reference interview
  • Reference services
  • Transcript analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


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