- Characteristics of Reference Service in Public Libraries: A Case of Tama Area in Tokyo
- No.46, p.37-48
In order to assess the present state and characteristics of reference service in Japanese public libraries, mail and field surveys were conducted on all 30 city, town and village libraries in the Tama area of Tokyo. The surveys were designed to examine the operational details of reference service as well as the extent to which the libraries recognized the many other facets of reference service. Questionnaires were mailed to public libraries in July 2001. Field surveys were conducted in late August.
The results were: 1) Answering reference questions is the principal activity in reference service and most libraries recognize answering reference questions as reference service. 2) Most libraries surveyed do not actively publicize reference service, nor do they arrange reference materials and equipment to provide access for users. Not many libraries recognize these activities as reference service. 3) There is a correlation between the level of reference service provided to users and the library’s recognition of the range of reference service. 4) Reference service is not perceives as an important part of library work when compared with other services, such as circulation.
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