Reference Service Policy

Reference Services are available at the Reference desk approximately 80 hours per week during the academic year. The Reference staff assists all patrons who require help in locating information using the resources of the library, regardless of their affiliation with the University. However, the emphasis of our service is assistance and instruction to our students, faculty and staff. Thus, we are unable to provide extensive reference service to the general public.

Walk-in patrons will have preference over telephone patrons.

Reference Collection

The Reference Collection consists of print and non-print (electronic) information resources. The collection is kept as current as possible (allowing for budget restrictions). Materials in this collection include atlases, bibliographies, dictionaries, directories, encyclopedias, handbooks, indexes, statistics, and other traditional sources. Reference materials do not circulate but may be removed from the Reference Room for a short time with the permission of the reference librarian on duty. Materials in high demand or informational sources used frequently by staff to answer reference questions are kept on shelves behind the Reference Desk. Patrons may be asked for a photo ID to use some items.

Telephone Reference

Limited telephone reference service is available at the Reference Desk (330-941-3686). The reference staff does not handle extensive reference questions over the telephone for the general public. Staff members will, however, look up titles in our catalog or the OhioLink Central Catalog, or answer simple reference questions at the discretion of the staff member on duty.

The Reference staff provides assistance to Youngstown State University faculty and administrative staff members who identify themselves as such. Reference staff may return calls to YSU faculty or staff with results of reference queries but cannot return calls to public patrons at this time.

Patrons who are not affiliated with the University and have extensive reference needs are referred to their nearest public library or other appropriate resource.

Electronic Reference

The Reference staff provides services through electronic means to the students, faculty and staff of Youngstown State University and to the general public who may have questions about unique local collections. At present, this consists of an e-mail reference service.

Reference Appointments

Appointments with reference librarians for individualized service with research needs are available to YSU students, faculty or staff. Please call the Reference Desk (330-941-3686)