Interactive Reference Service (IRS) at UC Irvine: expanding reference service beyond the reference desk
Lessick, Susan~Kjaer, Kathryn~Clancy, Steve
Copyright (c) 1997 American Library Association
Abstract: Desktop videoconferencing technology has the potential of bridging the physical barriers that prevent the ready transfer of information between users and reference providers. Because of this potential, the Science Library librarians at the University of California, Irvine implemented a pilot "telereference" project in January 1997 designed to generate needed information about the use of real-time, face-to-face, desktop videoconferencing to conduct reference interviews with student users at a remote location. The new interactive videoconferencing pilot program, called Interactive Reference Service (IRS), is available to medical students who are working in a computer lab located 1/2 mile away at the College of Medicine complex. This project is testing the feasibility, costs, and benefits of implementing such a service on an on-going basis. The paper will describe various planning, implementation, and service considerations, explain sample interactive sessions, and present preliminary observations.