definition of Wikipedia
The reference desk or information desk of a library is a public service counter where professional librarians provide library users with direction to library materials, advice on library collections and services, and expertise on multiple kinds of information from multiple sources.
Librarians are experts in the contents and arrangement of their collections, as well as how information is organized outside the library. Library users are encouraged not to be shy about asking a reference librarian for help. Even though most librarians stay busy when not serving a patron, their primary duty when they are at the desk is to assist library users.
Library users can consult the staff at the reference desk for help in finding information. Using a structured reference interview, the librarian works with the library user to clarify their needs and determine what information sources will fill them. To borrow a medical analogy, reference librarians diagnose and treat information deficiencies.
The ultimate help provided may consist of reading material in the form of a book or journal article, instruction in the use of specific searchable information resources such as the library's online catalog or subscription bibliographic/fulltext databases, or simply factual information drawn from the library's print or online reference collection. Typically, a reference desk can be consulted either in person, by telephone, through email or online chat, although a library user may be asked to come to the library in person for help with more involved research questions. A staffed and knowledgeable reference desk is an essential part of a library.
The services that are provided at a reference desk may vary depending on the type of library, its purpose, its resources, and its staff.
Resources that are often kept at a library reference desk may include:
Services that are often available at a library reference desk include:
The librarian who staffs the reference desk can usually do the following by virtue of their professional training and experience:
In the United States, those who staff library reference desks are usually required to have an accredited Masters degree in Library Science from the American Library Association. (In Sri Lanka Sri Lanaka Library Association's Library and Information Science) However, if there is a lack of qualified applicants, particularly in rural areas of the country, a person with an Associate Degree, a Certificate in Library Technology, or a Bachelors Degree in Library Science may be performing these duties. In many academic libraries, student assistants are used as the primary contact, sometimes at an "information desk."
With the development of the Web, digital reference services are beginning to take over some of the roles of the traditional reference desk in a library. There is disagreement over whether or not this development is desirable or inevitable.
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Lettris is a curious tetris-clone game where all the bricks have the same square shape but different content. Each square carries a letter. To make squares disappear and save space for other squares you have to assemble English words (left, right, up, down) from the falling squares.
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