Reference Interview for Beginners

For Immediate Release
Wed, 11/01/2023


Ninah Moore

Program Officer-Continuing Education


CHICAGO- Reference Interview is a comprehensive six-week asynchronous course focusing on evaluating reference service, behavioral aspects of reference service, and the different types of questions that can 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.

This comprehensive 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.

By taking this course, you will:

  • Improve your ability to conduct effective reference interviews
  • Provide better customer service to your patrons
  • Increase your confidence as a librarian
  • Gain the knowledge and skills you need to succeed in a reference position

The instructor, David Tyckoson, has almost 40 years of experience in academic libraries. He is currently a 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 a SUNY-Albany and the University of Illinois.

In addition, Tyckoson is a Past-President of RUSA. He has written extensively on libraries and reference services, having published over 75 journal articles and book chapters. He has presented at over 60 conferences and was awarded the 2005 Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award for distinguished contribution to reference librarianship.

Registration today here as the course begins on Monday, November 13, 2023.

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