Hilton C. Buley Library Reference Department

Reference Desk – Location and Hours

The Reference Desk is located on the right side of the main floor of Hilton C. Buley Library about half way down from the library entrance and faces the elevators. The desk is staffed by a reference librarian most hours the library is open.

Reference Desk hours:  
Monday-Thursday: 8:30 a.m.-10 p.m.  
Friday: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m.-11 p.m.
Hours for summer and holiday sessions vary.  

Contact Information

By Text MessageOur Text a Librarian service provides a direct connection to librarians when you're on the go. Regular service hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 am - 4:30 pm. Limited service may be available weekday evenings after 4:30 pm and on weekends, when staffing permits (pending questions may be answered on the next day of regular service). To send a message: dial 66746 and precede the message with our location keyword: scsu

By PhonePlease call (203) 392-5732 any time the Reference Desk is open for service. The librarian on duty will answer your call except when he/she is helping a patron. When no one is available to answer the phone, please leave us a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

By Email - Send a message to eref@southernct.edu and we will respond as soon as possible. Email is good for quick, brief, factual responses. If your question is time-consuming, it is best to make an individual appointment with a librarian.

By Appointment - Reference librarians are available to provide uninterrupted one-on-one assistance. The email addresses and phone numbers of reference librarians are provided in the Who’s Who section below. You can link to the librarian of your choice to schedule an appointment. You may also call the reference desk (392-5732) or contact eref@southernct.edu describing your needs and we will find the right person to help you.

Who’s Who in the Reference Department

Librarian   Room  Phone Email  
Winnie Shyam, Head, Reference Department  BU122G  392-5762 shyamw1@southernct.edu
Lisa Bier,  Social Science Librarian BU122K   392-5131  bierl1@southernct.edu
June Cheng, Education Librarian BU122F 392-5738 chengx1@southernct.edu
Susan Clerc, Electronic Resources Coordinator BU122I 392-5735 clercs1@southernct.edu
Rebecca Hedreen, Distance Education/Science Librarian BU122H 392 -5753 hedreenr1@southernct.edu
Tina Re, Arts Librarian BU122O 392-5597    ret1@southernct.edu
Alba Reynaga, Social Science Librarian   BU122N 392-5134 reynagaa1@southernct.edu
  BU122Q 392-5765  thomasl10@southernct.edu
Diane Tomasko, Business Librarian BU122M 392-5749  tomaskod1@southernct.edu

Goals and Objectives

The mission of Hilton C. Buley Library’s Reference Department is to provide quality reference service to the University community in a professional and timely manner, to develop and maintain a collection of print and electronic resources that support the learning, teaching and research needs of the university, and to instruct individuals, groups, and classes on the retrieval and effective use of information sources.

In order to provide quality reference service to the University community, the Reference Desk is staffed by a reference librarian most (not all) hours the library is open. Reference librarians use the most effective innovative and traditional techniques in providing information, and instruct patrons in the value and use of the library's collections. The department recognizes that patron information needs and demands require that Reference staff members possess substantial capabilities and competencies and will strive to serve patrons with knowledge, alertness, accuracy, and speed.

The basic objective of the department is to provide direct support of the University curriculum through answering the research questions of patrons and by providing current, easily-accessible materials to answer those queries. In meeting the patron needs, the Reference Department follows standards presented in "Information Services for Information Consumers: Guidelines for Providers", prepared by the American Library Association in June, 1990. The department regularly reviews its guidelines for both the subject scope of the Reference Collection and the types of materials included in it. Also, it aims to set procedures for acquiring new materials and for weeding the collection to ensure the development and maintenance of a complete, current, and convenient Reference Collection.

Reference Collections

The Reference Department strives to maintain a quality reference collection consisting of books and electronic products.  Reference librarians select materials in their respective subject areas. It is the collective responsibility of the subject selectors to maintain an authoritative, current, and comprehensive reference collection that serves the university community effectively and adequately. The basic subject areas that are collected are those that support the instructional and research activities of the university community. 

Print Reference Collection - Reference books are located on the first and second floors. Reference books have "Ref" before the call number and are arranged according to the Library of Congress classification. Books with call numbers A through RC 600 are on the first floor. Books with call numbers RC 601 through Z are on the second floor. 

Materials in this collection are limited to almanacs, dictionaries, (English language, foreign language and subject dictionaries), general encyclopedias, specific subject encyclopedias, handbooks, guidebooks, bibliographies (standard bibliographies, general bibliographies and specialized subject bibliographies), basic texts with high reference value, statistical/table compilations, biographical sources, manuals, yearbooks, atlases, loose-leaf services, indexes and guides to research.

Periodical indexes and abstracts are arranged in alphabetical order by title in the index/abstract section following the Reference collection on the second floor.

The Reference Collection is a non-circulating collection.

Ready Reference Collection - The ready reference collection is located at the Reference Desk. Materials in this collection include those reference sources that are used frequently to answer reference/information questions. Most of these materials are basic reference books such as almanacs, desk reference sources, dictionaries, directories, statistical sources, style guides, resume/job sources, thesaurus, etc. This section also has some frequently consulted books pertaining to information on Connecticut in the areas of Budget, Business, Census, Crime, Economy, Education, Geography, Government, Health, Social Services and Statistics. Connecticut telephone books and the Library of Congress Subject Heading volumes are also part of this collection.

Patrons are requested to return these materials to the Reference Desk after use.

Map Collection - The goal for the SCSU Map Collection is to acquire, house, organize, and maintain maps and related materials needed to support the teaching and research programs of the University. All maps are kept in map cabinets in the alcove on the main floor near the restrooms.   US topographic maps, US Geological Survey Maps, all state series and park series maps as well as maps from the US Defense Mapping Agency belong in this collection. Access to specific maps is provided via continually updated index grid sheets. Other maps which can be acquired free of charge are also in this collection. Please go to the Reference desk for assistance.

A representative collection of general and specialized atlases are available. The latest editions of most major atlases are purchased. Gazetteers and other atlases  are in the Reference collection.  Atlas display tables are located on the main floor near the Reference desk.

Portrait File - A collection of portraits (8 1/2" x 11") is filed in the cabinets near the Reference area. These portraits are arranged in alphabetical order by the person's last name.

Electronic Reference Collection - Electronic resources include on-line databases, e-books, and Internet sites

The list of databases is subject to change as products are added or deleted. Any member of the Southern community may recommend the acquisition of new electronic products. All requests, however, will be evaluated by the reference librarians before purchase. 

Patrons are requested to restrict their searches to 30 minutes if others are waiting.

Two workstations are available for guest users. However, at busy times, it may be necessary to give priority to SCSU-affiliated users.

Guides on searching specific databases can be found on the library home page under “Research Guides". Print copies of some guides are available on the "Info to Go" rack near the Reference Desk.

Reference Policies

Policy for Print Resources:

Electronic Collection Development Policy

Electronic Information Access Policy

The computers in the public areas of Buley Library have been provided to support the educational and research mission of Southern Connecticut State University.

Computer Use

The computers may be used by all Buley Library patrons for library research or information retrieval.  They are to be used to access the CSU book collection, those full-text online databases and periodical indexes subscribed to by Buley Library, and the resources of the Internet. Word processing, spreadsheet creation, etc. as well as non-academic related e-mail must be done in Computer Labs. Game playing is not allowed in the library.

  1. Use of computers may be restricted to one hour. Priority will be given to members of the SCSU community.

  2. We expect patrons to carefully select for printing those pages needed for research. At present, printing is $.05/page (black & white) on HootLoot cards, but we reserve the right to limit printing or to change the fee at any time.

  3. Patrons are encouraged to send selected pages to an e-mail account or download to thumb drives to use on their own computers. Patrons must supply their own disks.

  4. Users are expected to respect the privacy of others.

  5. Using computers to deliberately harass others is prohibited.

  6. No children may use these computers without the immediate supervision of an adult.

  7. Computers may not be used for private business or commercial activities.

  8. Patrons are responsible for following copyright laws and fair use provisions in the reproduction and use of copyrighted text, images or other resources.

  9. The library reserves the right to delete files from the library computers’ hard drives.

  10. Violators of this policy may have library computer privileges suspended.

Internet Access

The Internet offers access to a vast amount of information beyond the walls of Buley Library. Buley Library accepts no responsibility for the quality of the information found by the searcher.  The Internet is unregulated, and you may find erroneous or objectionable material.  Users must be aware of the wide range of validity or accuracy, timeliness and general usefulness of information.  It is wise to check dates information was posted, and the source of the listing as far as that is possible.

Buley Library adheres to the tenets of the American Library Association’s document, The Library Bill of Rights.

  1.  The library does not attempt to censor access to web sites, but expects patrons to search only for material pertinent to academic research.

  2. All Internet users should possess Internet searching skills as librarians do not give extensive help in searching. SCSU community members should contact the Academic Computing Center (392-6444) for information about Internet classes.

  3. The availability of the Internet sites selected by Buley librarians (found through Buley Library’s Research Guides page) cannot be guaranteed because of the changing nature of the Internet.

  4. All of the general computer use policies applying to CSU and Buley Library computers apply to Internet access.

Weeding Policy

The Reference collection is weeded periodically for the purpose of maintaining an updated and useful collection.  Subject selectors are responsible for weeding the collection in their subject areas and all reference librarians participate in the de-selection of the general reference collection.

The following criteria are used to determine if a book should be removed from the collection:

  1. How important is the publication in terms of research or historical value? 

  2. What is the scope and depth of the work?

  3. Does the material belong in the reference collection or more appropriately in the circulating collection?

  4. How likely is it that the publication will be used in the future?

  5. Is there a later edition, which supersedes this publication?

  6. Is the information in the work duplicated in other works?

  7. Do duplicate copies exist on the shelf?

  8. If the book is in poor condition, should it be replaced or refurbished?

  9. Is the information obsolete?

  10. Are there gaps in the collection that should be filled?

Noise Policy

  1. Please be considerate of others and keep noise to a minimum while in the library. This includes, but is not limited to, excessive talking, cell phone use, use of pagers, personal digital assistants, radios, walkmans, loud sound effects on computers/laptops, as well as engaging in any behavior that may disturb library users.

  2. If you must answer a cell phone or pager, please do so in the stairwells or lobby area.

  3. Violators of this policy may be asked to leave the building.

Thank you!

©2008 Southern Connecticut State University