Search room refers to a room in an archival building where the archives users/ clients sit and consult the materials.
Search Room Services
- User Education
The search room is headed by reference archivist whose responsibility is to help the users to satisfy their demands. When users arrive in search room it is the responsibility of reference archivist to explain to users what is an archive, what are services provided, how to use the machine and finding tools, how to access records and explain the restrictions and regulations to be followed in an archive.
- Reference Services
Reference materials like encyclopedias can be consulted inside the search room
- Reprographic Services,
- Availing of Archives to users Access into the archives restricted, The archivist will describe the information contained in the archives.
- Translating Services,
- Marketing Archives should publicize about what they have in archives for people/ public to know
- He should appraise his records and ensure that whatever he has in his custody is still of value
Type of search room users
Search room rules and regulations
- No food is allowed i.e. can attract insects
- No smoking is allowed because it can start fire
- There must be restrictions of access rights
- Quality of access whereby everyone has a right of access
- Copying of records is allowed
- Fee can be charged when felt necessary
Search room operations
It refers to the task performed in the search room to enable the researchers to get access to the records. E.g.
- Registering researchers
- Requisition of documents
- Introducing users to finding aids
- Return of documents
- Updating and making of finding aids.
Search room researcher’s requirements.
- Large enough space
At least 20 researchers at a time can be accommodated with adequate table –space where the readers can sit inn peace where the archive she wants can be bought to him for consultations
- Should have natural and ease access rules
Be in a position of understanding rules and regulations.
- Should have a reception area
The person in charge of search room should lead the users to the reference / search area.
- Reference section
The form is taken to the repository who will search information for the user.
Search room resources
Tables, Chairs, Computers, Projectors/ Play back machines, Shelf, Suggestion Boxes
Search room supervision duties
Answer researchers questions
Prepare and maintaining finding aids
Supervision of search room staff
Provision of facilities for reproduction of records
Security restriction access to search room
Functions of a Search room
Registration of members/ users
Orientation of users – user education program
For researching activities
Monitoring movement of archival materials to minimize theft and spoilage
User accommodation – they ensure user comfortability by providing them space and a seat.
Guide Researchers to locate relevant information sources
Response to research inquiries both through email, calls, face to face
It acts as Public relation (PR) office
It coordinates between user and Archive materials