Reference Point

by Zaubidah Mohamed

Reference Point is an electronic reference service provided by the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library.1 The service was launched in April 1996 by the former National Reference Library, the predecessor of the today’s Lee Kong Chian Reference Library,2 to provide reference service via telephone, fax, mail and email.3 On 11 April 2006, in order to provide greater accessibility to the service for users, Reference Point was made available via SMS (short messaging service) so that mobile phone users could use SMS to send their enquiries and receive the responses.4 As at 28 March 2016, the SMS service has been discontinued.5

The aim of Reference Point is to provide a quality enquiry service, where staff attend to all enquiries through telephone, fax and email within a short turnaround time (usually within three working days but more time may be required for complex questions).6 Reference Point centralises all such enquiries and helps to meet the rising information needs and expectations of users. In line with this centralisation policy, the telephone calls of all branch and regional libraries were routed to a call centre where the enquiries are then filtered and escalated to Reference Point.7

Reference Point is a local hotline for information.8 It attends to quick reference, reference, research and publication enquiries, especially pertaining to information about Singapore. It also provides simple information packaging and referral services as well as responses to requests for interlibrary loan, document delivery services and database searches.9


Zubaidah Mohamed

1. Tan, G. N. (2005, November 12). What’s the difference? National vs public. The Straits Times, p. 25. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. Chua, J. (2005, April 21). National library set to dazzle. Today, p. 8. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. Dawson, S. (1999, July 24). Do you have a recipe for popiah? The Straits Times, p. 13. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4. NLB launches SMS service to promote use of reference material. (2006. April 11). Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website:
5. National Library Board. (2016, March 28). Contact us. Retrieved 2016, June 29 from National Library Board website:
6. National Library Board. (n.d.). Frequently asked questions. Retrieved 2016, May 10 from National Library Board website:
7. Gwee, J., & Neo, B. S. (2013, March). A library for the people: A case study of the National Library Board. Retrieved 2016, May 6 from Civil Service College website:

8. C.S. (2004, September 11). Got a question? Ask him. The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
9. National Library Board. (n.d.). Frequently asked questions. Retrieved 2016, May 10 from National Library Board website:

The information in this article is valid as at 2016 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history on the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.


Reference services (Libraries)--Singapore
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