The effectiveness of an information desk staffed by graduate students and nonprofessionals in an academic library was tested using unobtrusive methodology. Data on 164 transactions were collected during April and May 1987. While 83.5 percent of the questions were answerable with available sources, only 62.2 percent of these were correctly answered. Another 8.5 percent were immediately referred to the reference desk. Relationships-weak, but statistically significant-exist between thelevel of the staff member and both the correctness of answers and the quality of referrals. Findings indicate that services would be improved by restructuring staffing patterns and strengthening training for particular kinds of questions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Library and Information Sciences