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ACRL Definitions for Information Services for Individuals: Home

Information Services for Individuals - Definitions

Transactions and consultation interactions are defined as information contacts that involve the knowledge, use, recommendations, interpretation, or instruction in the use of one or more resources by a member of the library staff.  The term includes information and referral service.

Resources include printed, online, and non-printed materials, e-resources and databases (including assistance with computer searching), the library’s own catalogs and holdings records, equipment and software for (digital) academic projects, other libraries and institutions through communication or referral, and persons both inside and outside the library.

Transactions include walk-ups in person at a service point and interactions conducted by phone, e-mail, Web interface, or other medium.  Include information and referral services.
Consultations are one-on-one or small group appointments that are often scheduled in advance, occur outside of the classroom or a service point, and require staff preparation or equivalent previous relevant experience. Include interactions that took place in person or were conducted by phone, e-mail, Web interface, or other medium.

Source: ACRL Annual Services Instructions and Definitions - revised March 3, 2022