The role of the Reference Department is to support the academic mission of the University in three broad and distinct areas: 1) Instruction; 2) Research; and 3) Public/Community Service. Familiarity and ongoing involvement in each area is expected, and is necessary to fill this mandate.

Of primary importance is support of the University's academic programs, a mission which involves meeting the general and specific needs of students, faculty, staff, and administrators of the University. As a state institution, a secondary mission is the provision of information services as requested by state residents, other academic and public libraries, and other public/ private institutions.

As an extension of the classroom, the Reference Department provides instruction at all levels of need through the following: interpretation of the library collections to users; research and research assistance. Special emphasis is given to meeting the needs of users who fall in the category of "non-traditional" (adults entering or returning to higher education after a number of years in the workplace) as well as "traditional" (recent high school graduates in their late teens to early twenties).

Organization and delivery of reference services are determined by recognized standards and authoritative guidelines in library/information sciences. Tennessee State University adheres to the American Library Association Standards for College Libraries; standards for college/university libraries established by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; and guidelines for bibliographic instruction in academic libraries as set by the Association of College and Research Libraries. As a result of high quality reference services, users are expected to become competent in accessing library resources.

Fletcher Moon
, Head Reference Librarian

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