Online course prepares librarians and library staff to provide effective reference services

For Immediate Release
Mon, 11/15/2010


Elizabeth Markel

CHICAGO—Librarians and staff at all types of libraries looking to improve their performance at the reference desk are encouraged to sign up for “The Reference Interview," an online course offered by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) from Nov. 29 through Jan. 14.

“The Reference Interview” is a comprehensive course covering such topics as cultivating an approachable reference environment, successful questioning and listening techniques and appropriate follow-up methods. Staff of all levels at all types of libraries will find this content, presented in a multimedia format, helpful in their day-to-day engagement with library patrons. Support staff who spend time interacting with patrons and assisting them with searches will find this course especially valuable.
“The Reference Interview” is taught by renowned reference librarian and RUSA member David Tyckoson, associate dean at the Henry Madden Library, Cal State—Fresno. Tyckoson has 30 years of experience in academic libraries and has served as head of the Reference Department at SUNY-Albany, Reference Librarian at Iowa State University and Science Librarian at Miami University (Ohio). He has also taught in the Graduate Library schools at SUNY-Albany and the University of Illinois. In 2005 he was awarded RUSA’s Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award for distinguished contribution to reference librarianship.
All of RUSA’s courses are administered using Moodle, an online course management tool. Online learning offers flexibility for busy professional schedules and facilitates interaction between instructors and students with weekly assignments, discussion boards and chat sessions.
Online registration for this course is open through Tuesday, Nov. 23.  Registration is $175 for ALA members, while RUSA members pay just $130—a savings of $45. Visit RUSA’s professional development information page for detailed course information, or go straight to the online registration page to sign up for this course. Group registration rates are available for two or more employees from the same library or library system—learn more at the RUSA professional development homepage. To join RUSA and save on this and other professional development offerings, visit or call 1-(800)-545-2433, option 5.
The Reference and User Services Association, 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. For more information, visit Not a RUSA member, but interested in discounted registration rates on conference, RUSA preconferences and other RUSA events? Join, renew or add RUSA to your ALA membership at