Reference Service Policy

Last Updated Date

The Woodridge Public Library provides accurate, timely, and thorough information to the community. Reference service is provided by trained staff all the hours the library is open. Patrons may receive service in person, by telephone, or electronically.


Patron questions are addressed with no distinction about the purpose of the inquiry or the use of the information. All questions are handled in confidence and with impartiality. Staff does not discriminate based on age, gender, race, sexual preference, disability, or appearance in providing reference service. Service is provided in a manner consistent with the Library Bill of Rights, the American Library Association Code of Ethics, and copyright law.

Priority of service is given to patrons on site. At busy times it may be necessary to provide basic help and get back to a patron for more assistance. Questions received via telephone, email or other electronic means will be answered in a timely manner.

Library staff strives to provide complete, accurate answers to all queries. Simple questions are usually answered fully and quickly. Complex questions may require follow up at a later time. Complex questions may also require the patron’s participation in the information search with staff providing guidance and advice on the search strategy and process. When questions cannot be answered fully with the available resources, staff provides referrals to experts, organizations, and other authorities.


As information professionals, library staff provide guidance and instruction. Library staff are not able to provide services in other areas of professional practice. Staff do not:

  • Handle confidential information such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, account information or medical information. If such information is viewed inadvertently, staff makes every effort to protect patrons’ privacy.

  • Provide medical, legal, copyright, financial, tax, or product advice

  • Recommend individual practitioners such as physicians, attorneys, daycare providers or tutors

  • Offer more than limited assistance with patrons’ personal technology

  • Provide appraisals of books, artwork, antiques or other collectibles

  • Provide editorial or translation services

  • Provide career counseling advice

  • Conduct genealogical, patent, trademark or other in depth research

The Library staff shall develop such rules and procedures as are necessary to ensure compliance with the Woodridge Public Library Reference Service Policy.

Approved by the Woodridge Public Library Board of Trustees 2/17/21

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