Working with children
- Children should be shown the same level of respect and courtesy as adults. Libraries serve all patrons equally regardless of age.
- Try to be at the child's eye level when communicating with them.
- Speak to the child as a person, not as a student. Making the assumption that their information need is for school can lead to failure in the reference process.
- Don't assume all questions are school questions. On the other hand, school is a child’s work, and all school questions are important.
- If parents or friends accompany a child, focus on the child. But be sensitive to the parent's need to be in control of their child. Remember, the library encourages parents to have an active role in their child's reading and education, and the library does not act in place of parents.
- Children's questions should be referred when you can't find something in your branch. Treat questions from children the same way you treat questions from adults.
- In doing the reference interview, take special care to find out what the real information need is. Children may have more trouble than adults explaining the question to you.
- Be sensitive to matching the information you provide with the reading level of the particular child (not just the grade the child is in), and to providing the right amount of information for the child’s needs.
- All children should be treated equally. Some children are difficult (just like adults), but all deserve the same courtesy.
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This page was updated on October 23, 2003.