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Ask a Librarian Service Policy

Version: 1.0
Last Amendment:
Approved by: Executive
Policy owner/sponsor: Director, Library Services
Policy Contact Officer: Coordinator, Client Services & Business Teams
Policy No: PD/39
TRIM File No: 50917
Date approved: 08/08/2014
Next review: 08/08/2017

1. Summary

The State Library of NSW supports you to find information in a variety of ways through our information and research services. This service is called the Ask a Librarian Service. This policy is designed to help you understand what levels of support to expect from our staff.

When self-help tools and resources do not guide you to the information you need, support is provided through a range of channels which may include:

This policy is underpinned by the National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA) Service Guidelines: Information and research services at NSLA libraries.

2. Policy statement

Depending on the nature of the enquiry the Ask a Librarian Service provides:

  • a suggested research strategy or guidance on the most appropriate books, electronic resources and other information sources for you to do your own research
  • information researched by our librarians to respond to your enquiry.

This service is provided for

  • New South Wales residents
  • Anyone wishing to access information relating to the jurisdiction of this Library (New South Wales)
  • Anyone wishing to access information which is unique to our collections

What we provide

  • Up to 1 hour of research on each enquiry. We may spend more time on enquiries which require researching materials unique to our Library.
  • A maximum of 6 enquiries per client per calendar year

Response time

We will provide a response within 7 working days. For enquiries which require researching materials unique to our Library, we may negotiate a longer response time with you.

Borrowing from the Library

Some items in the collection can be borrowed by making a request through your public, academic or work library. More information on our Interlibrary Lending Policy.

Requests for copies and images

Requests for copies of specific items where all details are known (e.g. industrial awards, death/funeral notices, newspaper or journal articles) should be sent to our Document Supply Service. Visit printing and copying for an order form.

You can also find more information on the website about ordering digital images and archival prints.

If all details are not known, it will be treated as an Ask a Librarian Request. We will aim to provide you with all the details so that you can order a copy of the item from our Document Supply Service.

Extensive or ongoing research

For extensive or ongoing research, e.g. extensive family history research, newspaper searches or searches through boxes of manuscripts, we may ask you to visit the Library. You may prefer to employ a researcher from an appropriate organisation, such as:

Student enquiries

We will help you by suggesting search strategies and relevant resources.

Your feedback

We encourage you to make suggestions, appreciations or complaints regarding the Ask a Librarian Service and Policy.

Your feedback will assist us in the development of our services.

3. Legislative and Policy Framework

Most relevant legislation

  • Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)
  • Library Act 1939
  • Library Regulation 2010
  • Privacy and Personal Information Act 1998

Related and/or most relevant State Library and government policies

4. Responsibilities

Managers and supervisors are responsible for managing processes relevant to this policy and communicating this policy to staff and clients.

Staff are responsible for understanding and complying with this policy.

5. Privacy

The personal information provided when using the Ask a Librarian Service is maintained and managed in accordance with the requirements of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 and the Library’s Privacy Management Plan and procedures.

6. Reporting requirements

Total number of Ask a Librarian requests completed collected monthly.

Total number of appreciations received collected monthly.

7. Procedures

  • Information Request Procedures November 2013 (Internal Document)
  • Allocating Information Requests Procedures 2012 (Internal Document)
  • Reftracker Procedures - Help Sheets 2012 (Internal Document)

8. Approval

This policy was approved by NSW State Librarian & CE/Executive on 08 August 2014.

9. Implementation

This policy is implemented on 08 August 2014.

10. History

This policy is a revision of Information Request Service Policy 2011.

This policy is related to: Interlibrary Lending Policy 2015.

12. Prepared by

Coordinator, Client Service and Business Teams
24 June 2014