How Reference Librarians Can Help Us Help Each Other

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Mike Calhoun

In 1883, The Boston Public Library began hiring librarians for reference services. Since then, a discipline has grown around personally meeting the needs of the public, as Library Science has evolved into Information Science. Yet, the goal of assisting with information needs remains the same. There is disciplinary overlap between programming and information science, but there are cultural differences that can be addressed. In other words, applying reference library practices to our teams can foster environments where barriers to asking for and providing help are broken down.