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Interpersonal Skills in the Reference Workplace
Reference Librarian
  • Lorraine J. Pellack, Iowa State University
Document Type
Publication Date
Reference librarians are expected to interact effectively with a variety of clientele and are taught skills such as approachability, showing interest, and verbal and non-verbal cues. Librarians who have a knack for interpersonal skills do very well both at the reference desk and interacting with their co-workers. An area that is rarely addressed in the literature (or in library school) is that of educating librarians about how to establish professional, collegial relationships with one another. It is assumed that if a reference librarian can interact well with patrons, in a professional manner, he or she will be able to successfully “fit into” almost any reference department. This article discusses the importance of interpersonal skills within the Reference Department and ideas for improving these skills to enhance co-worker relations.

Originally published in Reference Librarian, 83/84 (2003): 57–70, by Haworth Press. Simultaneously published in Cooperative Reference: Social Interaction in the Workplace, ed. Celia Hales Mabry (New York: Haworth Press, 2003): 57–70.

Copyright Owner
The Haworth Press, Inc.
Citation Information
Lorraine J. Pellack. "Interpersonal Skills in the Reference Workplace" Reference Librarian Vol. 83/84 (2003) p. 57 - 70
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