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Library Policies: Reference and Instruction

Reference and Instruction Services


The primary community served by the Library is comprised of Forefront’s members.  Additionally, members of the public, including but not limited to professionals and students, use the Library to conduct prospect research and identify best practices in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors.

The provision of reference and instruction services are core functions of Forefront’s Library.  These functions are met by:

  • meeting the information needs of its Members accurately and efficiently, and
  • providing instruction so that patrons may become more independent in their use of the Library’s resources.

Research Assistance: 

Forefront’s professional librarians respond to reference requests from Forefront’s Members and staff and assist members of the public in accessing information to meet their research needs.  It is the policy of the Library to accept to ask Members and staff to submit their requests by email or other designated electronic means.

It is the policy of the Library to consider each individual reference request from Forefront’s members and staff to be of equal merit.  The time spent researching and responding to a question may vary based on the nature of the request, the perceived needs of the patron, and the information resources (both staff and collections) available.

No distinction is made between Forefront Members and the public when giving routine assistance in person.  There are some limits to service for non-member patrons, however.  For example, patrons with time-consuming inquiries who are not Members of Forefront may be referred to public libraries or other resources.

Library Instruction

The Library provides formal instruction in use of its resources through regularly scheduled, no-cost workshops.  Library instruction generally is provided by Forefront’s Librarians in a face-to-face format.  Webinars that offer instruction by Forefront’s Librarians or vendor affiliated trainers may be scheduled from time to time.  Library instruction sessions are open to the public.  The Library does not schedule one-on-one instruction sessions.