The goals of Santa Monica College Library's reference service are to connect Library users with the best available information for their research needs, and to achieve the connection in the most effective manner possible.

Reference librarians are on duty most of the hours that the Library is open, ready to assist with in-person research queries and with appropriate telephone reference and e-mail reference (Ask-a-Librarian) requests.

In keeping with the Library's mission of contributing to student success, reference service focuses on instructing patrons to operate independently and at their own pace in using our electronic, print, or audio-visual resources. This empowerment allows researchers to best accomplish their immediate research objectives and at the same time prepares them for success in future quests. For further information, please call 310-434-4254.

Types of Reference Service

Reference service is centralized at or from the reference desk, and performed by librarians on specific assignment at the desk at specific times. It may also be performed by other librarians as resources permit, and as appropriate.

Librarians provide

in-person reference service

limited telephone reference service. Librarians may cite library locations but do not read aloud medical information or questions; consumer information or questions; bibliographic style information or questions; or course/class-assignment information or questions.

limited e-mail reference service

Reference librarians are happy to assist Library users to find sources or referrals that will help the users to locate desired information; however, reference librarians do not give their personal interpretations or personal answers for any questions or requests. This interdiction includes but is not limited to:

medical information or questions

consumer information or questions

bibliographic style information

course/class-assignment information or questions

Priority for Reference Service and for Use of Library Resources

While reference services are available to all patrons, the students, administration, faculty, staff, and community members of Santa Monica College are the primary patrons of the Library, its services, and its resources. These patrons have priority in using available Library resources. Use of Library resources for SMC instruction-related projects, research, and academic purposes have priority over other uses.