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Creating the Virtual Reference Service Product Image

Creating the Virtual Reference Service

  • ID: 74858
  • January 2003
  • Primary Research Group

This report profiles the efforts of 15 academic, special and public libraries to develop digital reference services.

The aim of the study is to enable other libraries to benefit from their experience in deciding whether and how to develop a digital reference service, how much time, money and other resources to spend on it, how to plan it, institute it and evaluate it.

In this report librarians share - in their own words - their experiences with digital reference.

Among the libraries and other organizations profiled are: Pennsylvania State University, Syracuse University's Virtual Reference Desk, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Palomar College, The Library of Congress, the University of Florida, PA Librarian Live, the Douglas County Public Library, the Cleveland Public Library, Denver Public Library, OCLC, the New England Law Library Consortium, the Internet Public Library, Paradise Valley Community College, Yale University Law School, Oklahoma State University, Tutor.Com and Baruch College.

Some of the issues covered include:

- email
- phone
- in-person and chat room reference query volume
- software selection
- software READ MORE >

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown

Introduction
The Wired 'St Century Library Patron

Summary Of Some Main Findings
Limited Use Of Chat Technology
Virtual Reference And "Finding Aids On The Net"
Knowledge Management & Digital Reference
The Paramount Importance Of Marketing
Cooperate, Cooperate, Cooperate
Cinema Is Not Making A Film Of A Play
Dealing With Technical Problems
Training The Librarian For Virtual Reference
Manning The Reference Desk

The New England Law Library Consortium
Nelco Considers Its Options
Hours Of Service
Usage Statistics
Technical Problems
Plans For The Future
Advice For Other Libraries

Palomar College
Initial Efforts In Virtual Reference
Hitching A Ride On Established Services
Traffic
Impact Of Explosion Of Web Use On Demand For Virtual Reference

Major Anonymous Us Government Agency Library
Usage Patterns
Staffing
Assessing Usage
Plans For The Future
Advice To Other Libraries

Pennsylvania State University
Initial Trials
Reference Question Arch_Io
How Much Use?
How Does It Compare To Email Queries?
Who Are The Typical Users
Hours Of Staffing
Cost Of The Service
Marketing
Reference Links Within Databases
Advice To Other Libraries
Collaborative Efforts
Plans For The Future

Pa Librarian Live
Software
Traffic
Hours Of Service
Work Load Handled
Benefits Of Digital Reference
Costs
Pattern Of Usage
Plans For The Future
Impact On Other Reference Services
Advice To Other Libraries

Questionpoint
Components Of Questions
Question Routing
Ways To Participate
Three Levels Of Service At Different Price Points
Profiles
Demographics Of Usage
Breakdown Of Questionpoint Users, By Type Of Library
For The Future

The Library Of Congress
Beginnings Of The Cdrs
Software Choices
International Cooperation
Copyright Issues
Participation Of Private Companies
For The Future
Patterns Of Usage

Yale Law School Library
Lawlibraryonline
Pattern To Reference Questions
Librarian Work Shifts And Hours Of Service
Yale University Service
Selecting The Software
How The Library Researched Its Options

Douglas County Public Library System And The Colorado Collaborative Reference Committee
The Colorado Collaborative Digital Reference Committee
The Douglas County Library Digital Reference Service
Costs
Hours Of Service
Choosing A Service
Cashing In On Non-District Users
Target Populations
Marketing The Digital Reference Service
Advice To Other Libraries

Oklahoma State University
Three Librarians Devoted Exclusively To Digital Resources
The Web Site
Traffic Through The Easyproxy Program
Costs
The Online Reference Form
Plans For The Future

The Denver Public Library
Birth Of Smartypants
Volume Of Reference Traffic
Growth In Smartypants Reference Chat Session Traffic
Smartypants User Demographics
Towards The Future
Costs
Questions Of The Night
Towards The Future
Training Issues
Responsibilities To Man The Service

The Internet Public Library
Beginnings
Plans For The Future
Ties With Other Electronic Libraries
Reaction Of Other Public Libraries
Who Answers The Reference Questions
Demographics Of Usage
Overseas Ipl

Tutor.com
The Tutorcom Concept
Dimensions Of Tutorcom
Staff
Traffic
Prices
Software
Future Developments

The University Of Florida
Beginnings
Software
Range Of Services
Hours Of Service
Traffic
Cooperation With Other Libraries
Staffing
Advice To Other Libraries
Marketing

Maricopa County Community College District
Beginnings
The Initial Pilot
Modest Results But Much Knowledge Gained
Traffic
Impact On Email Reference
Marketing
For The Future
Advice To Other Libraries

Massachusetts Institute Of Technology
Beginnings
Impact On Email Reference Traffic
Pilot Program
Evaluation Of The Progress
For The Future
Traffic
Hours Of Operation
Collaboration
Advice To Other Libraries

Baruch College
Beginnings
Software
Staffing/Training
Marketing
Hours Of Service
Traffic
Email Service
Restrictions On Who Could Use The Service
Marketing
Cooperation With Other Libraries
Patterns To Virtual Reference Questions
Costs
For The Future
Other Applications For Digital Reference Software
Advice To Other Libraries

Cleveland Public Library
Beginnings
Software Choices
Staffing
Hours Of Service
Promotion & Marketing
Volume Of Virtual Reference Traffic
Staffing
Financing
Distribution Of Seats
Virtual Harassment
Functioning Of The Technology
Plans For The Future
Advice To Other Libraries
Training

Syracuse University School Of Information -- The Virtual Reference Desk
Software Choices
Impact On Other Reference Services
Staffing
Training For Virtual Reference
Program Budget
Collaborative Efforts
Patterns To Reference Questions
Chat Capability
Marketing
Plans For The Future

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown

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