The Query Search Method
An inquiry-based approach for reference and information services
Keywords:methodology, pedagogy, professional practice, reference, research
This paper presents an inquiry-based pedagogical approach to teaching the reference interview and query search process for the reference course in the library and information science (LIS) curriculum. The Query Search Method (QSM) is a methodology grounded within a theoretical framework that synthesizes the tenets of literacy studies, critical librarianship, and librarian practitioner inquiry. In the reference course at two ALA-accredited library science programs, the QSM was employed as an iterative search process that actively applies advanced search techniques with online public access catalogs, subscription databases, bibliographic networks, web-based search engines and other online resources. The QSM can be taught in reference courses to fortify pre-service librarians with strong search skills that incorporate social skills that are socio-culturally competent with a critical lens and are immediately usable across various platforms, bridging the gap between library users’ access to and use of contemporary technologies as literate citizens in an interconnected digital world.
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