Public library customers have a variety of complex information needs. For this reason, it shall be the policy of the St. Mary’s County Library to provide all library users with high quality, consistent information service.
All requests from the public will be given serious, accurate and equal treatment. All customers will be directed to appropriate resources based on a thorough reference interview. Customers may be directed to resources in the local library, the regional or state networks, or to appropriate outside agencies and organizations.
Information staff will be responsible for assisting customers with reference requests in an impartial and businesslike manner. The function of the staff is to provide information – not opinions.
Information staff will proctor examinations for individuals, subject to the availability of staff.
In all cases, customers will receive a response to their requests. If the library’s resources are not adequate, every attempt shall be made to locate the information for the customer or refer the customer to a more appropriate source of information.
The St. Mary’s County Library serves customers of all ages, abilities, and skill levels, from children to senior citizens, and of all ethnic, cultural and socio-economic groups. Homework related questions deserve the same treatment as any other reference question. Students will be directed to the appropriate resources or referred to another appropriate source of information based on a thorough reference interview. However, questions to check homework, do math calculations, proofread a paragraph or formulate a thesis statement are beyond the normal scope of library service.