Do Crabs Have Favorite Colors?: A Look at Reference Service at a Small Library

TitleDo Crabs Have Favorite Colors?: A Look at Reference Service at a Small Library
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsGilmont, SR
Journal{OLA} Quarterly
AbstractThe article focuses on reference service of the Guin Library at the Hatfield Marine Science Center on the central Oregon coast. The Guin Library is Oregon State University's only branch library. The main and branch libraries are 56 miles apart, a degree of separation common for marine libraries. This library is small but active. The library has 2.5 {FTE} permanent staff and about .5 {FTE} student workers. The library collection is small, around 28,000 volumes with about 300 active serial subscriptions. The Gum Library serves Oregon State University staff and students, federal and state agencies located at the center, and the nearby Oregon Coast Aquarium. The core constituency of the library is diverse but primarily concerned with marine science issues. The most common ready-reference questions in the library concern the tides and the weather. The most often asked reference questions are about whales and dolphins, but other creatures get their share of questions, too. In this library, the possible ways to narrow the gap between paraprofessionals and librarians include serving together on committees, working together in a team setting, and pairing at the reference desk.