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Roles in digital reference

Information Technology and Libraries [September 2001]


Copyright (c) 2001 American Library Association

Abstract: Over the course of the past five years, researchers and practitioners have demonstrated that digital reference services can indeed work well and have developed much of the necessary technology. The next step we must take is to figure out how to optimize the design and operation of our services. A useful step in this direction is the development of consensus models that describe the digital reference process. The authors have developed a model that describes the various roles played by participants in this process and the ways in which those roles interact. This model is illustrated by several case studies: the Internet Public Library, the Saskatchewan Provincial Library, and the Virtual Reference Desk network. The authors hope that the model will facilitate further research by providing a framework and terminology for discussion about the digital reference process. Furthermore, it may be useful to practitioners in the field who are engaged in designing and evaluating policies and procedures for digital reference.

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Publication Year:2001
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: Information Technology and Libraries
Publication Info:Volume 20 Number 3
Issue:September 2001
Publisher:American Library Association
Place of Publication:Chicago, IL
Notes:Michael McClennen ( is the Head of Systems for the Internet Public Library. Patricia Memmott ( is the Reference Coordinator for the Internet Public Library.
Subject: Digital reference service
Online access:
Record Number:9376
Last Update:2012-12-29 14:06:47
Date Created:0000-00-00 00:00:00