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Moving the reference desk to the 24x7 world on the Web

[May 16, 2000]


Copyright (c) 2000 International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions

Abstract: Reference services in all types of libraries are experiencing a decline in questions asked at the desk as their community''s use of the Internet increases. Given the limited library hours, parking difficulties, off-putting hurdles in reaching you by telephone, and a host of other barriers, clients are willing to accept "good enough" answers from free, commercial non-library services that are at their fingertips 24 hours a day over better but less-accessible answers from the reference librarian. The challenge today for libraries everywhere is to rethink reference service in order to maintain the library''s place as the community''s primary information resource. This presentation will cover library experiments in serving remote users by becoming as convenient as their commercial competitors. In particular, the following projects will be described:

Collaborative Digital Reference Service, a pilot project under the direction of the Library of Congress, to support local libraries'' reference services by offering extended professional point-of-need service to users any time and anywhere, through an international digital network of academic, public, governmental, and national libraries, and using a variety of technologies.

Several local and regional library experiments that focus on live, interactive reference service to their remote users.

View Citation
Publication Year:2000
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Issue:May 16, 2000
Publisher:International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
Subject: Digital reference service
Online access:
Record Number:8864
Last Update:2012-12-29 14:06:47
Date Created:0000-00-00 00:00:00