Monday, June 21, 2010

A Concept Paper for a Roving Library Staff for Reference Service of De La Salle University-Manila

A Concept Paper for a Roving Library Staff for Reference Service of De La Salle University-Manila

Proposal Statement

To be a roving library staff moving throughout the library building for the De La Salle University-Manila aimed at offering mobile reference service to where the user-clients are. Its presence on all floors draws attention to assist patrons who intend not to come around the reference desk. A roving staff person may be able to deliver as fast as he can what the client’s information needs at hand and offer a worthwhile and successful stay in the library. Specifically, this roving activity:

- accelerates reference service;
- recognizes the value of the availability of a staff person at a time of need; and,
- promotes productive readership.

This roving reference service for the library of De La Salle University shall make its staff more visible at all times. An underserved group of patrons will now be supported since the library provides ‘point of need’ reference assistance (Kalsbeek, O’Shea & Sylka, 2005). Also, the staff person appears where students congregate like in the newly renovated Internet CafĂ©, round-table discussions inside the Bienvenido N. Santos Memorabilia Room, on-line public access catalog stations or even while they queue to claim for their bags. It is one on-the spot information and/or reference assistance without a desk increasing visibility rate of librarians and awareness of reference service (Miller, 2008). The staff person brings with him pathfinders, library manuals, a laptop for demonstration and must be equipped with few effective customer-handling and communication techniques. And in doing so, with its positive and very high impact outcome, the staff person becomes a walking PR making use of a roving technique as platform, an event (Garrovillas, 2010).


The library becomes more accessible within through its roving staff. The rover, either approaches and asks the patron: How may I help you find what you need? or allow the patron to approach the rover for the desired assistance. The rover
finds patrons in all the floors and many times seen assisting those who are using the catalogs and instructs them about basic information searching methods. Just being seen on the floor and identified as a staff person will provide better service (Bacon, 2007). The rover wears a LORA cap, in a green and white laboratory gown or simply in a shirt with ASK LORA dyed on it, obviously, to fascinate onlookers on why she looks, dresses up and behaves a little differently than all the rest. Patrons come nearer and the rover starts to offer candies, neon colored ballpens, memo pads, stickers, and other service promo paraphernalia to excite any to solicit reference help from her. Technical queries are entertained and machine assistance as well. At times, the rover walks in the library lobby and stands beside the IMS behind a LORA paper mask. Her hand demonstrates what she is about: Delighted to serve you!

Even those who are so gripped with using laptops, who may appear, from afar, not mindful of the rover’s being there will turn into all ears, be spectator and eventually, recipient of a personalized information and reference service of a lady or a gentleman staff person whose task is to rove around and be pleased at the same time with more than five help out instances with information seeking library patrons in a day. Her frequent visits to the University’s Circulation Section, while shelving displaced books, are enough to create a buzz and alert loyal shelf guests about LORA’s authentic intention to offer her time, proficiencies, and stimulate some sense of belongingness between and among them. Also, Lora is sharp to identify who is to approach, who is approachable, and when to approach a potential beneficiary of the library’s added out-of-the box service. For example, a busy-looking guy who goes to and from his table, walks around cabinets, browsing items on the shelf is LORA’s perfect target to score for the day’s roving goals.

To illustrate, Rover Librando is rover LORA. Both of them are librarians on call and staff persons on location. They make several trips to memorabilia rooms in order for Lorenzo, Francisco, Bien and Bro. Andrew meet and engage viewers of their huge achievements and mementos to take them on, journey back, on and on, to what they had witnessed while mortals of this nation. Their rooms cease to be forlorn since either Lora or Librando is often spotted inside and that encourages attendees to come after. Their stay is prized with a certain gift of knowing about a piece of each and of his milieu and permits them feel connected, again, to 24-year Philippine senator Lorenzo Tanada, cancer-stricken don Francisco Ortigas, English stories publisher Bienvenido N. Santos and beloved DLSU president from 1979-1991 and 1994-1998 Bro. Andrew Gonzales.

Rover named Librando, never forgets, to tour around a pair or stir up a group to guess who became winner, a pensionado-scholar, out of the donated pottery collection and museum artifacts of Daniel Tantoco, Jr. found beside the Archives Room. He amazes the same group with the Philippine Numismatic Collection of De La Salle University where 400 specimens of rare Philippine coins and paper currency are displayed. He also talks about its donor, a successful man, Felipe Liao, whose first love was philately.

As illustrated through Lora and Librando, the Library will have a roving library staff moving throughout the library building for the De La Salle University-Manila aimed at offering mobile reference service to where the user-clients are. The thing that Radical Reference is best known for is pushing the boundaries of what it means to do reference and more institutions are thinking about things like roving reference. (James Jacobs, 2007)


A committee shall be formed to work on the following:

a. discussion about roving reference service, its process & customer handling on location;
b. staffing persons, calendar and roving schedule;
c. locations where to rove;
d. added features, costuming & attire of the rovers, promo paraphernalia;
e. evaluation, to confer and meet for feedback and to improve the service.

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