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Reference Services

Want to know what our Reference Librarians can do for you?

Reference Librarian service at UDPL includes:

Research help
We can help you find just what you’re looking for without wading through a ton of information. (With certain limitations: we’re not doctors or tax preparers. See our Reference Services Defined.)

Book Suggestions
Check out our “I Need a Good Book” service

Tech Tutoring and Support
Pinterest questions? Microsoft Word conundrums? We can help you with all of your programs and devices, including Android, iDevice and Windows computers. And we will help on any problem, not just using Library ebooks and audiobooks!  Plus, if you have extensive tutoring needs, we have a Tech Tutoring Program where you can get one-on-one help. Some limitations apply: please see our Computer Assistance Waiver.

Maintaining the Adult Book, Video & Audio Collection
Our reference librarians do all the ordering for our adult collection. Think we’re missing something? Check in with a reference librarian. All ordering is done according to our Materials Selection & Collection Development Policy.


Purpose of Reference Services

The purpose of Upper Dublin Public Library’s Reference Services is to assist library patrons of all ages with their information needs. The policy’s guidelines are intended to ensure (1) an equal level of quality service from the reference staff and (2) to provide clarification for patrons who have questions about the scope of reference services.

Goals of Reference Services

The goals of reference services at Upper Dublin Public Library are:

  1. to acquire and maintain collections that meet the informational and recreational needs and interests of the community.
  2. to provide qualified staff to assist patrons in a courteous and unbiased manner. All Upper Dublin reference librarians have a Master’s in Library and/or Information Science from an American Library Association accredited institution.
  3. to provide accurate information, based upon the resources available, in a timely manner.
  4. to introduce patrons to the Library’s collections, resources, and the MCLINC system.

Scope of Reference Services

Reference services are provided for any person who enters or contacts the library during the hours the Library is open, regardless of residency. Patrons may phone in or email short, factual requests (i.e. a business’s phone number, the spelling of a word, a request for a specific book title), but priority will be given to those who come into the Library. Patrons who need assistance with in-depth research should come into the Library. Librarians will not photocopy or print out materials for phone-in or email requests. Phone or email requests that require the librarian to collect and hold library materials will be handled at the librarian’s discretion on a limited basis.

The librarians will:

  • supply patrons with the information they retrieve from print and electronic resources as well as the name of the information source. They cannot offer opinions, interpretations, or advice. The staff is not legally qualified to offer legal, medical, or tax advice.
  • provide introductory instruction to the Library’s catalog and electronic databases.
  • answer computer and Internet use questions as governed by the Upper Dublin Public Library Computing Assistance Policy and Waiver.
  • make every attempt to refer the patron to another source or institution when a request cannot be answered using the resources available at the Library.