Answered By: Joe Bond
Last Updated: Jan 19, 2017     Views: 140

Faulk Central Library is the primary reference resource for the Austin Public Library system. Assistance is provided to walk-in customers, customers who telephone the library, and those who send their questions to us by email, chat or text.

Walk-In Reference
Reference and information service are two of the public library's primary roles. The responsibility of the Austin Public Library reference staff is to provide patient, prompt, accurate, and impartial service to users of all ages and backgrounds.

People who come to the library for information are not required to learn how to use reference tools, but training and instruction will be offered as appropriate so customers can become self-sufficient library users. Librarians at the second floor reference desk recommend search strategies and assist customers in locating the most appropriate resources, including print books and journals, electronic databases, and Internet web sites. We assist customers with the library's digital resources.

Telephone Reference
Providing information by telephone is an integral part of library service. Austin Public Library's Telephone Reference service gives customers the opportunity to ask questions without coming to the Library. Telephone staff can briefly answer questions on any subject, search the catalog for holdings, assist with the library's digital resources, and provide customer account information.

When a telephone reference request requires more than ten minutes of staff time, staff will submit the question to Ask a Librarian. The response through Ask a Librarian will be within 24 hours. Users requiring extended searching will be encouraged to come to the library or to use Book a LibrarianIf a customer calls with more than three questions per day, we may have to ask them to use Book a Librarian, come to the library, or contact us the next day. 

Telephone reference is open Monday - Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday & Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m, and Sunday 12 noon to 6 p.m. Customers may request searches for items held at the Faulk Central Library, but no more than three items may be requested by phone per day. Items can be held at the Faulk Library or transferred to a branch. The turnaround for shelf searches is two to three hours. 

Ask a Librarian
The Library provides answers, Web sources, research help, and information about Library collections and services by e-mail, text, and chat. The response time is usually the same day but may be 24 hours. If a customer submits more than three questions per day, we may have to ask them to use Book a Librarian, come to the library, or contact us the next day. 

Book a Librarian‚Äč
Book a Librarian allows you to reserve a free half hour session with a professional reference librarian at the Austin Public Library. You can also schedule a tour of the Faulk Central Library and other library locations. 

Limitations on Types of Questions 
We answer most questions that we receive. We're not able, as public librarians, to dispense information that can be considered legal or medical advice. We can direct you to resources at the Library and outside the library that can help you. We can help you get started searching for a service or a product, but we do not do the comparison shopping for you.

Homework Assistance 
Reference Services librarians at Faulk Central Library provide reference and homework assistance every day to students at all levels. 

Copying, Printing and Scanning
Photocopying is available for customers using coin-operated machines. Charge is $.20 per page. Customers may not bring their own paper for use in the copiers and printers. The Library has no fax machine available to the public. Faulk Central has two scanners for public use.

The reference staff can print pages from electronic sources for walk-in and telephone customers and may charge $.20 per page depending upon the request. Printing from public computers costs $.20 per page.