The reference desk or information desk of a library is a public service counter where professional librarians provide library users with direction to library materials, advice on library collections and services, and expertise on multiple kinds of information from multiple sources.
Purpose and usage
Library users can consult the staff at the reference desk for help in finding information. Using a structured reference interview, the librarian works with the library user to clarify their needs and determine what information sources will fill them. To borrow a medical analogy, reference librarians diagnose and treat information deficiencies.
The ultimate help provided may consist of reading material in the form of a book or journal article, instruction in the use of specific searchable information resources such as the library's online catalog or subscription bibliographic/fulltext databases, or simply factual information drawn from the library's print or online referenc