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Long Range Reference Service

Long range reference service indicates long time in providing reference service. This service is given:

  1. To special readers demanding special information’s.
  2. Normally in long time, i.e. more than 5 minutes.
  3. With the help of reference sources.
  4. More in special libraries than other libraries.

Dr. S.R. Ranganathan stressed that Long Range Reference Service is more used in public and Reference Servicespecial libraries. It is not practised in every library. School libraries have no reference service but it is much more needed in technical and industrial libraries.

Long range reference service involve:

(a) Much time

(b) Normal guidance

(c) For research scholars, scientists or special readers

(d) In higher education.

Need of Long Range Reference Service

There is a need of long range reference service at every step in a library. There are many reasons of it, some of which are discussed below:

(i) It saves the time of the readers and experts: Time is precious for an expert and research scholars. They try to finish their research in minimum time to get the current result. But most of their time is spent in literature search. They search the literature to know the latest development in their respective fields. If librarian helps in literature search, it will save the time of the researchers and the experts. Librarian is aware about the reference sources and the procedures to search the required information.

(ii) Knowledge explosion: 20th century is a period of knowledge explosion. The literature is being produced in each subject field and it is very difficult to study the whole literature. Libraries build selected literature suited to the readers. Libraries purchase a good number of literature and reader is always eager to know the details and whereabouts of the literature received in library or published anywhere in the country or the world.

Reference librarian is well-versed and trained in the search techniques of literature. He can easily help the readers to trace his documents. Researchers and scientists waste their valuable time in searching the literature and knowing their where-about. They are also not aware of the development of their subject fields. Reference librarian always serves the reader with the help of reference tools like reference books, bibliographies, indexes, abstracts, directories, yearbooks, handbooks, etc.

(iii) Complexity of information sources: Information sources are many and full of complexities. Every information source has different arrangement, style of presentation, language barrier, which is not known to readers. Reference librarian with his abilities provides all information’s to the readers.

(iv) Information sources of other libraries: No library is complete in itself. It is also not possible for a single library to house the whole literature published. Libraries take help of other libraries for using their information sources. Each library has limited funds. Information sources are in huge number which cannot be procured by one library. Therefore, libraries cooperate each other and utilize the information sources together. It is possible by resource sharing.


Published on: Sharma, C. K. (2006). Reference Service and Sources. Atlantic Publishers & Dist.

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