Posted in Internship

Law Reference Internship, Week 6

Another week of new experiences at the reference desk!

This week I worked/will work two more evening reference shifts, running the reference office myself.  While not ordinarily too busy, during last night’s shift I did have two patrons from the Legal Bibliography course (which I took last Spring) come in for help finding the correct source to answer one of their assignment questions.  Luckily, I took thorough notes during that course, a strategy that helps me commit facts to memory better, and I was able to direct them to the best available source to answer the question.

I also had a phone-in reference question that required me to scour the Indiana Code to find an answer.  It was a two-part question, and while I was able to find a direct answer to one part, the other had to be inferred by utilizing two separate code sections, an excellent lesson in understanding that not every question has a definitive answer!  Despite the fact that there was only a direct statutory answer to one part of this question, the patron seemed satisfied and grateful for the assistance.

Finally, I continue work on a couple of ongoing projects with one of the reference staff.  Initial feedback on the projects have been quite positive, which, for a long-term project like this, is very reaffirming!

Lesson learned this week: While this does not happen often, not all reference questions have answers, and others have indirect, inferred answers instead.

Author:

I am the Assistant Director for Public Services at Indiana University's Maurer School of Law. My research interests include exploring how emerging and existing technologies can be used to enhance library services and legal education as well as how to address knowledge gaps and meet the educational expectations of today's law students.

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