Nearly all public libraries in Minnesota belong to both a Public Library System and a Multi-County Multi-Type Library System. Each system develops the kinds of programs that work best in its area, and each is eager to hear from you about what services would help your patrons.
All the public library systems and all but one of the Multi-County Multi-Type Library Systems provide backup reference service through Regional Reference Nodes or the headquarters library. Several of the Multi-County Multi-Type contract with other agencies to provide the backup reference service. The Regional Reference Nodes and headquarters libraries are usually located in large libraries with good collections and are staffed by experienced librarians.
Regional Reference Nodes exist to enhance and complement local library reference services.
The vast majority of questions that are asked are answered by the library where the question was asked; only a small percentage are referred to the headquarters library/Regional Reference Node.
Regional Reference Nodes are not limited to the collections in the libraries where they are located. They sometimes contact libraries, agencies, groups, clubs, associations, businesses and individuals around the world for help in locating answers to your patron's questions.
Reference Nodes are designed to supplement services available locally, not substitute for them. The whole referral process works best when the resources at each level of the process are thoroughly checked.
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