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A directional transaction is an information contact that facilitates the logistical use of the library and the library’s electronic resources. It does not involve the knowledge, use recommendations, interpretation, or instruction in the use of an information sources other than those that describe the library, such as schedules, floor plans, and handbooks. Examples include call number location information, database password requests received at the reference desk, and campus building information. 


A reference transaction is an information contact that involves the knowledge, use, recommendations, interpretation, or instruction in the use [or creation of] one or more informations sources by a member of the library staff. This includes information and referral service, as well as assistance in finding known information sources.. Information sources include (a) printed and non-printed materials; (b) machine-readable databases (including computer-assisted instruction); (c) the library’s own catalogs and other holdings records; (d) other libraries and institutions through communication or referral; and (e) persons both inside and outside the library.

Research Consultation

A one-on-one meeting with a patron conducted outside the reference desk, where the librarian provides instruction or assistance with a patron’s specific research questions or with selecting a research topic. Research consultations are generally conducted in a librarian’s office and provide more in-depth information than quick reference transaction.

Faculty Research Project

Research requests from faculty members that require knowledge, use, recommendations and interpretations of information sources by the librarian. Faculty research projects generally require more time and effort than a specific document retrieval. Estimates for time taken on a faculty research project include time spent by all involved librarians or research assistants.

Technology Assistance

Providing technical assistance related to personal or University computers, printers, or software. Examples include laptop issues, scanning questions and TWEN assistance.