Reference Services

Last Updated Date


The Shiawassee District Library attempts to provide timely, accurate, and useful information in response to reference questions related to personal, educational, or work-related interests of community members regardless of age.

Patrons within the library will receive first priority in the use of reference tools or staff assistance. Phone and written requests will be handled as time permits, although a quickly answered question may be done immediately at staff discretion. At the librarian’s discretion, library users needing more extensive help than can be given over the phone may be asked to come into the library. Patrons needing extensive individual help, Internet searches, or other time-consuming assistance may need to make prior arrangements for a time at which adequate staffing is available. Internet searches may not be available on an on-demand basis. The amount of time which may be given to an individual will vary depending upon the number of staff members available at the time and the number of other people also needing assistance.

Genealogical questions will not be taken over the phone, but may be researched if requested in writing from people outside Shiawassee County. Shiawassee County residents will generally be expected to come into the library to do their own research. Research done by staff is limited to in-house materials. The library will not provide staff to look at census microfilm or do extensive Internet searching; they may assist patrons to use databases and other materials as time allows.

Staff will provide assistance in using library materials in response to homework assignments. They are not expected to complete assignments or do research assigned to the student.

Contest questions will be treated as any other reference question. The library accepts no responsibility for contest results.

Library staff cannot prove medical, legal, or other professional advice. Every attempt will be made to provide materials related to patron needs, but no interpretation of the material to a given situation will be provided.

Adopted 10-23-96 Revised 4-25-16DL

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