For immediate release | March 26, 2024

Reference Interview Course from RUSA

CHICAGO- Register today for the upcoming Six-week asynchronous course Reference Interview 101 starting on April 1, 2024

Reference Interview is a comprehensive six-week course focusing on the methods of evaluating reference service, behavioral aspects of reference service, and the different types of questions that can be used to help patrons identify what they need. Using images and text, this in-depth educational approach covers everything from the approachability of the librarian to how to follow up with a patron. Scheduled chat sessions will model interviewing techniques using sample dialogues.

The instructor, Dave Tyckoson, has almost 40 years of experience in academic libraries. Prior to retirement, he was the reference librarian at the Henry Madden Library, California State University, Fresno. Past positions include serving as Head of the Reference Department at SUNY-Albany, Reference Librarian at Iowa State University, and Science Librarian at Miami University (Ohio). Tyckoson has also taught in the Graduate Library schools at SUNY-Albany and the University of Illinois.

Previous attendees had this to say:

The Reference Interview Course really helped me improve as a future librarian. It didn't just make me better at my job technically, but it also taught me how important it is to understand and communicate well with people who come to the library. Thanks to Dave's great and easy teaching and the detailed course from the RUSA ALA, I'm now much better at helping our library visitors. I'm very thankful for this chance to learn, and I'm excited to keep using what I learned to make our library a better place for everyone.

Gaby Gomez, Seminole County Library Services (Florida)

I took Reference Interview 101 last spring and so enjoyed brushing up on this topic with Dave Tyckoson as my instructor. He made what could be a very dry topic engaging and interesting, often personalizing it, which held my interest while also reminding me of the importance of my position when answering patron’s reference questions: Making myself approachable and also to ask the proper open-ended questions to get to the real question patrons are trying to ask, but often do not know how to articulate to us. Lastly, I never felt anxiety over the quizzes or the work shared with fellow students online and had such fun when practicing what we learned with my partner as a final small project. I highly recommend this as a refresher and reminder for something that seems so basic, but has everything to do with building relationships with our patrons and their comfort in using our public library.

Lisa Gottshall, Manitowoc Public Library (Wisconsin)

This course is tailored for support staff, library technicians, newly hired reference librarians, and those librarians who want to brush up on their interview skills. The topics covered are introductory in nature and class segments are geared to cover issues of interest to staff in all types of libraries.

Register today!

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers’ advisory and resource sharing. RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need. Learn more at


Ninah Moore

Program Officer-Continuing Education

Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)