“Roving reference” has been a topic of discussion and debate in academic libraries for some time. With reference statistics declining and students increasingly-reluctant to approach traditional reference desks, libraries have sought other ways to visibly engage with students at their point of need. Our libraries were no exception to this trend, and in 2014, following an offhand inquiry from a member of the library’s student advisory committee, we stumbled into a new kind of “roving reference,” framed as a targeted, “one-shot” outreach event.
Citation Frustration Stations, held every finals period, offer roving assistance specifically focused on proper citation, paraphrasing and academic integrity practices. CFS are held in foyers, hallways and busy campus throughways in addition to library spaces, and have been increasingly successful due to their focus on a specific and immediate information need. The specific focus and varied locations mean that CFS meet students “where they are” in every sense of the phrase. Conducted collaboratively by the libraries’ outreach and reference teams, as well as the campus Writer’s Workshop, CFS also create an intersection between “fun” outreach programming and more-traditional academic library service, while allowing us to address a growing need.
This poster will change attendees’ preconceptions about roving reference by introducing the 5-year history of Citation Frustration Stations at our institution. Attendees will learn about the ins-and-outs of a CFS and ensuing inter-office collaborations, and will be inspired by some of the particularly intense citation inquiries that we’ve answered along the way! We will also discuss how we have assessed this program based on statistics and qualitative feedback from both students and faculty. Finally, we will provide best practices and other resources that attendees can consult to learn more about “roving reference,” with the ultimate goal of expanding our definition of what “roving reference” can be and accomplish.
Type of Library
Community College Library; College Library; University Library
roving reference, citations
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
Collaborative Roving Reference: Solving "Citation Frustration" One Student at a Time
Casco Bay Ballroom