Guidelines for improving reference services at Ahmadiyya Muslim High School Library
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ABSTRACT A study was carried out to come up with guidelines for improving reference services in Ahmadiyya Muslim High School Library (AMHSL). The objectives of the study were to; to establish the current status of reference services at AMHSL; to find out how reference services at AMHL are managed; to identify the challenge of providing reference services at AMHSL, and to come up with the best guidelines for improving reference services at AMHSL. The study employed a case study design. The researcher purposively selected 27 participants 3 teachers responsible for the library; 2 librarians; 9 O’level students and 12 A’ level students and the Director of Studies. Data was collected using interviews, observation and document analysis. The study findings revealed that the reference materials at AMHSL included: almanacs, atlases and maps, bibliographies, biographical resources, dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks and indexes. The reference materials are under closed access. Library users present their identity cards to access reference materials. The challenges of providing reference services at AMHS included; inadequacy of library space and inadequate reference materials to cater for all library users. The school library also lacked a trained librarian. The school librarians headed by a teacher both of whom are non-professionals. However, teachers did not have enough time to dedicate to the school library due to pressure from teaching work and there was no special allowance given to motivate them. It was also found out that the school lacked a school library policy which could guide the affairs of the school library. The major recommendation suggested for improving the reference services at AMHSL were; to recruit a trained librarian; to stock enough reference materials and to develop a second library policy which would also guide reference services. Meanwhile, the proposed study guidelines to help the librarians in improving the delivery of reference services at AMHSL.