Home
Reference
Collections
Cataloging
Children's Lit
YA Lit
LibMedia Skills
LMC Admin
Copyright Issues
LMS Resources
Lesson Plans
Education Sites
Virtual Trips
News Resources

Classify

Effectively working with a patron during the reference interview phase is critical to gain an understanding of the explicit and implicit aspects of a given reference question.  Establishing a search strategy, locating appropriate information sources, effectively using those sources, understanding where to turn for additional assistance, deciding what to provide the patron to meet their information needs, and reflecting on how each search can be useful to the next one involves translating the reference question into a systematic plan of action.

Dr. Anne Zarinnia promotes Bunge's Classifying the Question as a tool to achieve these ends.  To summarize this technique, it is useful to classify questions before starting a search.  Think of each reference request in terms of:

  1. Topic and viewpoint in terms of time, space, people and fact.
  2. Time frame:  now or later?
  3. Quick answer or in-depth?
  4. Easy or challenging?
  5. What other questions like this have I handled?
  6. What do I already know about this topic?
  7. Do specific type sources come to mind?
  8. Will the answer require  description, narration, summation, analysis, persuasion, or encyclopedic approach?
  9. Does the structure of the information requested suggest geographic, histroic, biographic, generic, or specific topical analysis?
  10. What specific sources come to mind?
  11. Formulate a search strategy.
  12. Develop alternative strategies.
  13. Identify antonyms and homonyms.
  14. Will it be possible to work the problem backwards?
  15. Are any analogies or metaphors helpful?

These considerations result in being able to apply previous experience and knowledge to a new problem solving activity.

[ Top ]

Interview
Classify
Problem Solving
Bibliography
Geography & History
Government Docs.
User Education
Administration

 

2003-2005 BreitLinks, All rights reserved.  Question, comments, or would you like to share resources?  I'd love to hear from you at webmaster@clubtnt.org  

 
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is being made available in an efforts to advance understanding of educational, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml.  If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.