The Department of Reference and Community Information Services (DERCO) provides reference services to the university community and the general public. Through collaboration with agricultural related organizations, institutes and sectors in the country, the department also oversees the accessibility of agricultural information services among agricultural stakeholders in the country.
This department has many roles and responsibilities among which the core ones are to:
- Provide circulation services to library users: This is through registering and de-registering library users, lending of library materials to users, discharging returned books, collecting and managing library statistics, displaying, shelving and shelf-reading of books, collection conservation and preservation as well as stocktaking and evaluation.
- Provide reference and community information services. The department provides of answers to reference queries, maintains the reference collection on closed shelves and process inter-library requests and loans.
- Oversee departmental libraries within the university.
- Oversee Mkulima Library Collection Development at SNAL.
- Develop and maintain a repository for farmers to enable access to relevant agricultural information.
- Collaborate with Agricultural Research Institutes in the country and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, and other relevant institutes to enhance access to agricultural information services in the country and to have a well-coordinated agricultural information system in the country.
- Carry out user needs assessment to determine their information needs and improve satisfaction for services provided.
- Organize catalogued and classified items on shelves for effective and easy access and retrieval by users.