Library users can consult the staff at the reference desk for help in finding information. The Sanibel Public Library Reference Department can help you find 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 reference collection.The reference librarian can be consulted either in person, by telephone at (239) 472-2483, or through email.

Services that are often available at the library reference desk include:

  • The ability to place books ‘on hold’. The person who placed the ‘hold’ is notified when the book has been returned.
  • The ability to request interlibrary loan of books and other material from other libraries in the same library system, or from a cooperating library anywhere in the world.
  • The opportunity to recommend that the library purchase something for its collection that it doesn’t have, which may be needed or of interest to other library users.
  • Answer reference questions: look up a brief, factual answer to a specific question.
  • Use the catalogue to find out whether the library owns an item with a particular title or author,  or to compile a list of books by a particular author or on a particular subject.
  • Briefly teach the user how to use the catalogue and how to use its advanced features.
  • Teach the library user to use online databases such as magazine and newspaper articles.
  • Recommend reliable web sites, give advice on searching the Internet for information.