Training Paraprofessionals for Reference Service

I am the author of Training Paraprofessionals for Reference Service, 2nd revised edition. Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc.

Using paraprofessionals to answer reference questions is a great way to expand your library’s reference reach while getting the most value out of your staff. But how do you begin training them? What training materials should be used? What skills should be taught? How important is the reference interview for paraprofessionals? What are the pros and cons of using paraprofessionals in this manner? I answer these and other questions in a new edition of this book.


“This is a very practical book which contains many useful exercises, checklists and examples of forms…I recommend this book as a very helpful guide for anyone developing and implementing training programmes within libraries.”
— The Australian Library Journal, August 2010

“…a very comprehensive training guide that may even offer some tips for the professional librarian…This timely guide would be a good choice for all librarians that use paraprofessionals to staff their reference desks. It might be especially useful for small libraries, which often do not have the resources to maintain large professional staffs.”
— Reference and User Services Quarterly, Vol. 49, Issue 2

“The clear, concise format of this work adds to its value as a book….Many libraries that face today’s issues of staffing reference desks…would benefit from having this volume in their collections…it serves not only as a practical guide for training paraprofessionals, but also as a resource that can be consulted again and again by professional librarians.”
— J Med Libr Assoc 97(4) October 2009

“Highly recommended for libraries.”
— Catholic Library World, September 2009

“This book is an excellent, time-saving resource for those with training responsibilities for paraprofessionals. All libraries, including those owning the first edition, will find the new edition useful.”
— Public Services Quarterly, 5:3

Even those libraries who will not be training paraprofessionals specifically for reference service can benefit from selected chapters and training ideas for those paraprofessionals who work with the public…
— ARBA, March 2009

Morgan…provides a comprehensive nuts and bolts guide to integrating paraprofessionals into professional library staffs.
— Reference and Research Book News, February 2009


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