Internships provide students with real-world field experience in professional settings, under the supervision of librarians and other information professionals who hold an MLIS or equivalent degree.
After completing the prerequisite LIS 601 and co-requisite LIS 663 courses, interested students attend a mandatory orientation session, where the policies and procedures of the internship are explained. Students apply for internships at the site of their choosing, and while faculty advisor approval is required, selection is at the discretion of the internship site.
Application and evaluation forms are available on the Forms page.
College or University
Atherton Library (Kaneohe), Hawaii Pacific University
This internship will introduce students to the tasks and duties found in a small academic library. It requires a diversity of skills as the duties and experiences will be varied and will include opportunities in:
- Reference Service
- Collection Development
- Information Literacy
- Library Instruction
- Online Databases
Joseph F. Smith Library (Archives), Brigham Young University-Hawaii
The intern will gain training and experience in providing reference and collection management service in the Joseph F. Smith Library University Archives, and in one or more areas of interest: collection development, resource creation (e.g. LibGuides, Finding Aids, videos), cataloging, preservation, and curation. Option for online internship experiences possible upon request and pending project availability.
Joseph F. Smith Library (Cataloging), Brigham Young University-Hawaii
- Directed reading of documentation for USMARC, OCLC bibliographic formats, standards and documentation, SIRSI system documentation, AACR2, LC class schedules and LCSH.
- Hands-on searching of: OCLC database, LC authority files & schedules (via LC Classification Web), and SIRSI cataloging module.
- Simple and complex copy cataloging on OCLC Connexion; some original cataloging on OCLC Connexion.
Joseph F. Smith Library (Reference Services), Brigham Young University-Hawaii
Students will participate in reference activities including helping with the newly established information commons. They will also participate in the bibliographic instruction program which involves teaching most of the students on campus.
Sullivan Library, Chaminade University of Honolulu
Work in a general academic collection requires a diversity of skills. There will be opportunities for training in a variety of managerial, public and technical services. The intern will receive training in and benefit from practical experience in selected areas such as:
- Collection development
- Information literacy
- Reference service
- Library assessment and planning
- Library instruction classes
- Technical services
An effort will be made to tailor special projects to the interests and skills of the intern. Examples of special projects may include some of the following:
- Electronic resource analysis
- Web site development
- Instructional materials
- Library displays
- Distance learning
Edwin H. Mookini Library, University of Hawaii at Hilo
Work in a general academic library requires a wide variety of skills. The intern may receive hands-on training and practical experience in one or more areas of librarianship, e.g., administration, reference service, access services, technical services, collection development, archives, special collections, etc. Internships can be customized depending on the interests of the intern and the goals of the library.
Asia Pacific Digital Library, Kapiʻolani Community College
The intern will assist in planning/production work for the Hawaii Memory Project (http://memory.hawaii.edu) or Native Plants Hawaii (http://nativeplants.hawaii.edu).
Lama Library E-Resources, Kapiʻolani Community College
Intern will receive advanced training in MS Word, Excel, and Access as well as web design and construction (some prior experience is preferred). In-depth explanations of issues in electronic resource management will be provided, including database design, licensing, proxy servers, and OpenURL. Directed work on projects in one or more of the following areas will be based on the intern’s abilities and preferences:
- Updating and maintaining the KCC library website
- Updating and maintaining the library’s electronic resources management database
- Activating, setting up, and providing access to full-text electronic journals
- Creating, organizing, and providing access to digital collections on a variety of topics
- Documenting departmental procedures
- Collecting and analyzing online usage statistics
- Directed reading and research on related topics
Leeward Community College
The intern will have opportunities to gain practical knowledge and experience in the areas of library instruction, tutorial design, assessment, reference, and collection development. An effort will be made to tailor special projects to the interests and skills of the intern.
Hālau ‘Ike O Pu‘uloa (Hawaiian Community Service), Leeward Community College
The intern will have opportunities to gain practical knowledge and experience in library instruction, tutorial design, assessment, reference, and collection development. Special consideration will be given to LIS students possessing or seeking experience with native Hawaiian constituents – the Library is working closely with the college’s Hālau ‘Ike O Pu‘uloa and the Waianae campus to support native Hawaiian student success.
Maui College Library, University of Hawaii
Duties and projects include reference and circulation desks, technical services, student instruction and library tours, and any tasks or projects that are appropriate to the library’s needs and the intern’s level of expertise.
CLEAR (Labor Archives), University of Hawaii-West Oahu
The intern will have the opportunity to perform archival duties that may include, but are not limited to: creating inventories of collections, creating an arrangement methodology, and using software to create finding aids. Interns may also work on developing digital resources, adding content to CLEAR hosted web pages, writing guides for electronic resources relating to the collection.
Aina Haina Public Library, Hawaii State Public Library System
We can offer a wide range of public library services, including the following: children’s storytelling, reader’s advisory, collection development, reference services, use of the Horizon library automation system, program planning and execution, and participation in staff meetings. The internship may also include special projects as agreed upon by the supervising librarian and the intern.
Edna Allyn Room for Children, Hawaii State Public Library
An Edna Allyn Room (EAR) internship focuses on children’s library services, collection maintenance (selection, ordering and weeding), and programming such as Storytimes, class visits and outreach. The intern would work ten hours a week & be scheduled for some hours at the Children’s Help Desk with a librarian after orientation & training. The intern will also help the librarians present programs and input information on order lists.
Honokaʻa Public Library, Hawaii State Public Library System
Library Basics & Maintenance (i.e. shelving, item inspection, training, etc.) 20%, Collection Development 10%, Research & Analysis (i.e. researching other libraries programs or finding out about other institutions in the community) 20%, Outreach/Implementation (i.e. drafting ideas, posting flyers, executing ideas, program shadowing, etc.) 40%, Other 10%
Kaimuki Public Library, Hawaii State Public Library System
The internship will include practical experience in children’s services, such as assisting the librarian with story time and class visits and collection management. There will also be practical experience in working at the reference desk that serves adults, young adults and children. This will include helping patrons with their digital literacy skills on the computers and explaining library services, including many digital resources.
Kalihi-Palama Public Library, Hawaii State Public Library System
Provide general reference and reader’s advisory, which includes teaching the public to independently search the public access catalog and Internet. Assist Library Assistants in basic circulation services. Select an area in the collection (adult, young adult, juvenile or reference) to analyze and evaluate for currency and scope. Assist Librarian in purchasing material for collection development in the area evaluated.
Kapolei Public Library, Hawaii State Public Library System
This internship will provide the opportunity to observe and participate in collection management, reference, programming and other aspects of operations in a large public library. The applicant will be able to work at 4 different reference desks, Adult Nonfiction; Adult Fiction, Audio Visual and Hawaiiana; Young Adult and Children’s.
McCully-Mo‘ili‘ili Public Library, Hawaii State Public Library System
A student’s internship at McCully-Moiliili Public Library can include training and experience in the following professional areas: Reference services for all ages; Readers Advisory for all ages; Practical application of the Dewey Decimal System; Training and experience with the Horizon Automated Circulation System; Program planning and execution.
North Kohala Public Library, Hawaii State Public Library System
The intern will gain experience in programming for both adults and children, in materials selection, and in weeding the children’s and adult fiction collection
Pearl City Public Library, Hawaii State Public Library System
Intern will work at both Adult Reference and Children’s Reference, conduct library orientations/tours upon request, host a library program, perform a storytime, and weed a portion of the Adult collection.
Waianae Public Library, Hawaii State Public Library System
Provide general reference services including: teaching the public to search the catalog, internet, and online database, use word processing programs, and library e-resources. Special projects as agreed upon.
Bishop Museum Library/Archives
This internship is perceived to be a richly rewarding experience in the reference (in person and by e-mail) and processing work of a special library. It includes exposure to a variety of finding aids and handling copying requests, numbering, listing, and housing of special collections, and some cataloging of published materials (OCLC and Voyager) if desired. All special library staff do some technical as well as professional work.
Congregation of the Sacred Hearts U.S. Province Archives
This internship will provide the intern with an introduction to archival policies and procedures, as outlined in the department’s preservation management plan, disaster preparedness plan, pest management program, environmental monitoring program, and collections security and access procedures. The intern will engage in hands-on processing activities that will include: Cleaning, sorting and arranging of incoming acquisitions; ordering of archival supplies and rehousing of materials; compilation of finding aids; collections research; and transcription and translation of selected Hawaiian language materials.
Consuelo Foundation Archives
This is a non-traditional, special archives/library. The Consuelo Foundation Archives and Resource Library seeks interns interested in learning about solo archives/librarianship, business archives, nonprofits or records management. Available internship projects include: a) processing analog archival collections including writing finding aids, b) expanding the digital archives, c) digitizing analog historical materials, and 4) processing and cataloging books for the library. Other projects may be available upon discussion with the Supervising Librarian.
Correctional Libraries, Hawaii Department of Public Safety
The intern will get experience working in a prison environment. They will interact with the inmates and help them with their library needs. They will be handling mostly legal reference questions, such as locating case laws and statutes for inmates. They will learn to use the Lexis-Nexis legal database.
Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies
This is an opportunity to work in a small academic special library with national and international security, military and government officials from countries around the Asia-Pacific region. The intern will be able to practice reference, cataloging, interlibrary loan, collection development and instruction skills. All communication is in English.
Hawaii State Archives
Intern will be assisting in the creation, organization, and providing access to Hawaii State Archives’ digital assets using open source software such as Greenstone for providing access to digital records, Irfanview for preparing those records for access, and Plone for content management. Intern will use scanner with appropriate software and Microsoft Access for database design/management.
Archives, Honolulu Museum of Art
This internship is designed to introduce the student to the responsibilities of and issues faced by archivists in art museums. Projects may include assisting with reference inquiries, surveying archival records, preparing inventories, writing series descriptions, and organizing and rehousing archival material. Whenever possible and/or appropriate, the student will be included in meetings between the archivist and other museum staff.
ʻUluʻulu: The Henry Kuʻualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawaii
Internship will introduce students to the duties and responsibilities associated with a moving image archive and depending on the students’ interests and experience may include opportunities in:
- Cataloging using the MAVIS media asset management software
- Processing and creating inventories of archival audiovisual materials
- Preservation activities including cleaning and re-housing of audiovisual materials, and environmental monitoring
- Digitization of videotapes, documents and photographs
- Digital media file management and quality control
- Social media information management
- Administrative management including participation
Resource Center, Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii
Available intern projects include, but are not limited to, (a) processing archival collections; (b) digitizing audiovisual, oral history, and manuscript collections and helping to move them online; (c) transcribing oral histories; (d) inventorying and cataloging donated photos; (e) cataloging books, AV materials, oral histories, and archival collections in the online catalog; (f) working on preservation and protection of fragile materials; and (g) preparing pathfinders for library materials on aspects of Japanese American history or culture. Interns will also gain experience in the everyday work of a specialized library in the nonprofit sector, including providing reference or other types of assistance to researchers and other visitors.
Library Resource Center, Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies
There are a number of projects available to interns. Priorities include assisting with inventory & weeding, collection assessment, archival processing. Other projects include assisting with digitization of special collections, instruction, and the development of public services (e.g. workshops, exhibits, promotion & marketing media).
Kamehameha Schools Archives
A wide range of choices are available. If collections work is desired, the whole process after acquisitions will be experienced. An example of the process would be to rehouse items, conserve them, and publish and inventory as print a finding aids catalog, EAD, and entering a bibliographic record in the ILS.
Middle/High School Library, Le Jardin Academy
Le Jardin Academy MS/HS Library provides an environment that supports student learning. Currently we are in need of updating our library website, making it more user-friendly with flash tutorials that provide basic library instruction. Focus on Young Adult library services, collection maintenance (selection, ordering and weeding), educational support, class visits and outreach. The intern would work eight to twelve hours a week & be scheduled for some hours at the Circulation Desk.
Makiki Community Library
Interns will learn about the day-to-day operations and management of a small community library. They will then supervise volunteer staff at the circulation desk, in the workroom, and with stacks management. Interns will also assist in selecting, and classifying donated materials. They will perform other collection management duties such as adding items to Amazon.com wish list, and weeding an area of the collection. They will be assigned an advocacy project, such as a letter writing campaign, or creating a flyer. Other special projects may be assigned based on needs of the library and learning goals of intern.
Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries
The PIFSC library is a government library, a science library, and a special library. This internship is suited for students who are interested in these kinds of libraries, as well as those who are interested in solo librarianship.
Possible internship tracks include (but are not limited to):
- Archives and/or digital archives. The PIFSC Library is home to unique research data and reports dating back to the 1940’s. Much of this material is highly relevant to current research and should be made readily available to the public.
- Scholarly communication. The Library is an integral part of the scholarly publishing process for scientists in the PIFSC.
- Solo librarianship. Students interested in this track will gain experience in the day-to-day operation of a library.
Sgt. Yano Library, Schofield Barracks
The intern will be provided an opportunity to work in all areas of the library: Circulation (Innovative Interfaces Millennium); Reference – work with OCLC’s QuestionPoint, assist reference librarian in analyzing and evaluating the collection and recommend purchases; become familiar with a variety of online databases such as ProQuest; Public Services – programming, interlibrary loan; and Technical Services – cataloging and acquisitions.
Hawaii Pacific Health Medical Services Resource Center, Straub Clinic and Hospital
The intern will gain training and experience in providing service in one or more areas of interest: resource management, electronic resource evaluation, collection acquisition or information literacy tools such as PowerPoint presentations, videos, or marketing products.
The intern would be trained in processing of collection materials, searching for medical literature, use of the media software and assist with resource instruction and outreach. The intern would also help collect data on the effectiveness of the program.
We expect the intern to gain experience in Center operations by attending monthly meetings with the Center supervisor. We also expect the intern to contribute to the Resource Center efforts to determine the effectiveness of the program by researching the literature, discussing ideas with the other librarians and proposing, planning or participating in surveys or other research methods.
The intern will assist in raising awareness among the HPH clinicians about the Medical Library resources, services and expertise.
Medical Library, Tripler Army Medical Center
At the present time, the Medical Library at Tripler is supporting two active Clinical Librarianships (2 librarians attend 2 morning reports every week in 2 residency training programs; as clinical questions arise, the medical literature is consulted, & the librarians present their search results). The internship would temporarily expand the service to Pediatrics and would also help us collect data on the effectiveness of these programs.
To conduct an inventory of the photograph and book collections. This includes arranging, describing, digitizing, rehousing, and indexing the photographs. The intern will also have a chance to learn collection management skills by inventorying the books and selecting publications to be withdrawn or added to the collection. Washington Place uses PastPerfect software to catalog its collections. The final stage of this project will be to catalog the photograph and books into PastPerfect as well as create a finding aide for access to the photograph collection.
Preservation Department (Books), Hamilton Library
Internship will be tailored to the preservation interest of the student and the current projects being worked on in the UHM Library Preservation Department. All projects include learning about structure of books, proper handling and storage, assessment of damage and working on treatment options including: pamphlet binding, boxing, or reformatting.
Access Services, Hamilton Library
The goal of the internship is to assist the Access Services Department to review, revise, and enhance the department’s website pages as part of the Library’s Website. The intended outcome of this internship is to improve the website to provide an enhanced user’s experience with ease of navigation and clear, up-to-date, and easy to follow information.
University Archives & Manuscripts, Hamilton Library
The intern will have the opportunity to perform archival duties that may include, but are not limited to: processing materials, creating finding aids using ArchivesSpace (archival data management system), assessing collections, and providing reference and outreach services. Internships are tailored to the needs of individual students and the department.
Asia Collection, Hamilton Library
- Interns will have the opportunity to apply learned reference service knowledge and skills in the setting of a special area collection. Training in departmental procedures and policies will be provided. After training is completed, interns will be scheduled to serve at the reference desk.
- Interns will design and install an exhibit in the Asia Collection. The exhibit may be a topic of interest to the intern. Creating the exhibit will serve as an opportunity to explore a special segment of the collection and to serve as an outreach project.
- Interns will work on a special project(s) under the guidance of an Asia specialist. The project may reflect the intern’s particular area of interest or fulfill a need in the collection.
- Interns may assist in collection building by searching titles and preparing orders and may be asked to prepare topical guides and finding aids.
- Interns may assist in maintaining and developing Asia Collection’s web site.
Asia Collection (Digitization), Hamilton Library
The Intern will work with an Asia librarian and will assist in the identification and organization of objects to digitize and will also work with Beth Tillinghast, Department of Network Services, who will teach digitization skills. Duties may include: Scanning printed text, manuscripts, photographs, and maps; creating and updating web pages; creating and updating web indexing; creating and updating metadata; OCR conversion of images of text; conversion of images from one format to another. Equipment used may include: Windows microcomputers, flatbed scanners, Hawaii Voyager online catalog, OCLC Connexion cataloging system, zip disk backup system, CD ROM writer, digital camera. Software used may include: image/graphic manipulation and conversion, scanning, backup, OCR conversion, WWW browsers, HTML encoders, FTP and Telnet, word-processing and spreadsheet, and web development software.
Business, Humanities, and Social Sciences, Hamilton Library
Primary focus to include one or more of the following:
- Support for collection development and/or collection maintenance
- Web development
- Reference support/consultation for business, economics and/or tourism subjects
Cataloging, Hamilton Library
- Directed reading and research on USMARC Format for bibliographic data, OCLC bibliographic formats and standards, Voyager system documentation, Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, Library of Congress Classification Schedules, Library of Congress Rule Interpretations, and Cataloging Service Bulletin.
- Hands-on searching on: OCLC database, Library of Congress Authority Files, Voyager Public Access Catalog, and RLIN database.
- Adaptive and original cataloging of monographs using Voyager cataloging module and OCLC.
- Upgrading minimal level cataloging records to full cataloging.
- Assistance with special cataloging-related projects within the department.
- If the intern is interested and time permits, introduction to cataloging materials in other formats or languages.
Jean Charlot Collection, Hamilton Library
Internship projects will be tailored to the intern’s interests and the current activities in the collection. Opportunities are offered to participate in the curatorial duties associated with preserving the collection and serving its diverse patrons: for example, collection care and preservation, cataloging and bibliographic activities, preparation of archival inventories and finding aids, exhibition planning and preparation, and web site development.
Desktop Network Services, Hamilton Library
Duties and projects may include: conversion of existing images from one format to others (e.g. TIFF to GIF or JPEG); verification and clean up of images; moving existing images from one storage platform to another (e.g. PC to WWW server); scanning photographs or other materials such as microfilm, printed text, manuscripts; creation or updating of web pages, creation or updating of web indexing; creation or updating of metadata; research and/or documentation related to digitization projects; Optical Character Recognition (OCR) conversion of images of text. Equipment used may include: Windows microcomputers, flatbed scanners, microfilm scanner, overhead book scanner, Hawaii Voyager online catalog, OCLC Connexion (formerly CORC) cataloging system, zip disk backup system, CD ROM writer, digital camera. Software used may include: image/graphic manipulation and conversion (Paintshop Pro), scanning, backup, Hawaii Voyager cataloging, OCR conversion (FineReader), WWW browsers, HTML encoders (HomeSite, Dreamweaver), FTP and Telnet, word processing and spreadsheet.
Desktop Network Services (ScholarSpace), Hamilton Library
Interns will focus on institutional repository issues. Projects will include developing and managing ScholarSpace, and providing outreach to students and faculty about open access and ScholarSpace.
Duties and projects may include the following:
- Creating or updating web pages
- Reformatting and optimizing digital files (e.g. format conversion, OCR processing)
- Creating, editing, and verifying metadata
- Researching practices and standards related to digital repositories and open access
- Developing, promoting, and running Open Access Week programs
- Administering ScholarSpace to make corrections and add new materials
- Writing and presenting training materials and documentation for ScholarSpace
Government Documents, Hamilton Library
Interns will assist with cataloging tasks, creating finding aids, and collection development tasks such as requesting material, evaluating new material, and identifying collection needs. Interns may also work on departmental web pages, writing guides for electronic resources relating to government information, or other projects. Interns will work part of their hours at the Government Documents & Maps reference desk.
Hawaiian and Pacific Reference Sources, Hamilton Library
Participating in the reference service offered in the Hawaiian and Pacific Collections Department. This work consists largely of answering questions from students, faculty, visiting researchers and community members relating to Hawaiian and Pacific Islands topics. Reference desk time would be approximately 8 hours per week, with the remaining two hours used for follow-up and/or assistance with our ever-growing email reference, special projects such as preparing guides or creating exhibits, and other areas as time permits.
Health Sciences Library, John A. Burns School of Medicine
The Health Sciences Library offers a wide variety of options for selected interns. While we have very little face-to-face reference, we try to include interns in every aspect of the work we do. The director has extensive experience in collection development, copyright, and resource licensing. The public service librarian can include the intern in various instruction related activities and the technical services librarian has significant knowledge with cataloging and web management. We always have a plethora of projects to participate in from digitization to data management, utilizing ScholarSpace and Evols.
Map Collection, Hamilton Library
Interns will assist with inventorying gifts, assigning Library of Congress classification numbers, and providing reference service for maps and aerial photographs. Interns may also work on developing digital resources, adding content to departmental web pages, writing guides for electronic resources relating to maps and GIS, or other projects. Interns will work part of their hours at the Government Documents & Maps reference desk.
Music Collection, Sinclair Library
Work in a music collection requires a diversity of specialized skills such as a knowledge of music history and theory, ability to read music and a foreign language, as well as excellent organizational and communication skills. The intern would not be expected to possess all these skills but any or all of them would be advantageous to the applicant. The job is challenging but very rewarding.
Any LIS student who enjoys music or would like to learn more about it, and seeks training in a special collection would benefit from an internship in the music collection. The intern would experience a wide variety of technical and managerial opportunities in real-life situations. Some of the work involved is outlined below.
- Provide basic reference service in music and music related areas. Time: 5 hrs/wk
- Do preorder searching of selected music and reserve book materials and prepare order forms. Time: 3-5 hrs/wk
- Organize and develop files, do processing, keep records for music related materials and Sinclair
- Library administration (i.e. office management) Time: 2-3 hrs/wk
- Assist in other projects such as displays, inventories, web site development, etc. Time: 3-5 hrs/wk
Science & Technology Reference, Hamilton Library
This internship will allow students to gain experience working in a specialized collection of a large academic research library. The department’s activities include reference service, instruction, collection development, and some specialized services for defined user populations. The department maintains a training manual to guide LIS students about procedures and policies. Normal department hours are 9:00am to 4:00pm Monday thru Friday. Duties include:
- Reference Desk assistance alongside a regular staff member and later on their own.
- Science database instruction. Interns will be trained to assist users. Special projects in conjunction with online database instruction may be undertaken (i.e. revising or developing new instructional materials for handouts or creating/updating subject LibGuides).
- Interns may occasionally assist librarians in providing classroom instructional sessions.
- Special projects may also be undertaken upon approval by the supervising librarian.
South Asia Collection, Hamilton Library
The intern will work primarily with the South Asia Librarian to provide reference service at the Asia Collection reference desk, as well as, with the Coordinator of the CSAS to prepare a digital archive and electronic database of public domain and UH library materials related to caste. Duties may include creating and updating web indexing, creating and updating metadata, scanning printed texts, and sourcing and converting new public domain material.
Visual Resources Center, Department of Art & Art History
Internship projects will be tailored to the intern’s interests and the current activities in the library. Opportunities are offered to participate in all aspects of digitization and database maintenance, collection management, and analog slide preservation. Interns can also assist with analysis and implementation of a new online content management system.
Cataloging & Technical Services, Law Library
The intern would rotate through law library departments, learning how an academic law library functions and developing skills in each area of work. This would include circulation, reserves, reference, cataloging, processing of materials and law library administration.
Public Services, Law Library
The student will be working in the public services section, helping the public services librarians, learning various aspects of circulation, reference, and patron services. Special projects such as library displays, pathfinders, and provide assistance in legal research projects.
Reference, Law Library
Web Design and Maintenance
Intern will receive training in web design and construction (some prior experience is preferred) to create webpages in order to assist students, faculty, library staff, and public patrons. Projects will include one or more of the following based on the intern’s abilities and preferences:
- Updating, maintaining and enhancing the WSR Law Library website
- Creating set of webpages to guide public patrons in the use of the Law Library, including where to find legal resources online
- Creating reference pages such as web portals, such as Pacific Island legal resources, student research guides, and online tutorials
- Creating online intranet training guides for undergraduate library assistants
- Maintaining and updating the intranet library staff pages regarding references services, sources, and questions
- Troubleshoot and resolve site problems
- Test new ways to improve the usability and navigation of the website
- Assist staff with web-based instructional programs and presentations
- Collecting and analyzing online usage statistics and reference statistics using Excel and Access
- Answering email reference questions