Subscribe FAQ Terms of Use
Certificates Courses Course Calendar Packages Registration Consultation Appointments
My Briefcase Help! How Do I?
Virtual Learning Room Links Forms Comments by Students
Faculty & Consultants Graduates Contact Us Our Background We Need Your Help

Librarianship: Genealogy Reference Interview
Register (Fees/Dates)
Other Info
The special nature of the field of genealogy creates unique challenges to the genealogy librarian during the reference interview. Librarians must successfully navigate this process in order to offer effective and quality service to the researcher. This course provides tools and strategies for assisting genealogists, including direction for analyzing questions, locating sources, and matching them to the needs of the patron. It draws on case studies and examples for students to interpret questions and decode materials. The course work includes application of the text to individual libraries and methods for evaluating and improving service.

Course Content

Module 1
Special Applications For Genealogists
The Effective Reference Interview
Cycle of the Reference Interview

Module 2
The Patrons
Clarifying the Question
Determine Patron Level
• Beginning Genealogists
• Experienced Researchers
• New Patrons
• Specialized Researchers
User Identification

Module 3
The Questions
Directional Requests
Knowledge-Based Strategies

Module 4
Common Sources
Finding Sources
The Guides
• Reference guides
• Genealogical and occupational dictionaries
• Historical maps and gazetteers
• Guides to genealogical repositories
• Guides to records
• Guides to publishing family histories or documenting and citing evidence
The Data
• Census records
• Passenger lists
• Land ownership records
• Family history periodicals

Module 5
Connecting Patrons with Sources - Part 1
Knowing the Collection & Access Points - Matching Sources and Patrons
Searching for Materials without using Call Numbers or a Catalog
Using Intermediary Tools Other than the Catalog
Searching for Materials Using a Catalog
• Keyword Searching
• Browsing Functions
• System Defaults
• Customized Subject Fields
• Exclusions

Module 6
Connecting Patrons with Sources - Part 2
Knowing the Collection & Access Points - Matching Sources and Patrons
Search Strategies

Module 7

Module 8
Interpreting Materials: Decoding Intermediary Sources
Assisting With Sources
• Check the Front of the Book
• Work Backwards
• Consult Sources External to the Index
• Understand Various Types of Coding Systems

Module 9
Patron Satisfaction & Challenges
Determining Patron Satisfaction
• Patrons with unrealistic expectations
• Patrons that fail to request the assistance they need
• Patrons that lack the basic skills/information to conduct research
• Patrons that won’t give up
Barriers that Librarians Create

   Copyright © 1999-2023, International Institute of Genealogical Studies. All Rights Reserved.