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The Recent Impact of the Internet on Reference Services Michael Sauers Presentation to the Missouri Library Network Corporation 16 July 2001.

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Presentation on theme: "The Recent Impact of the Internet on Reference Services Michael Sauers Presentation to the Missouri Library Network Corporation 16 July 2001."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Recent Impact of the Internet on Reference Services Michael Sauers Presentation to the Missouri Library Network Corporation 16 July 2001

2 Four Recent Developments AskA… Services -based Reference Chat-based Reference The Collaborative Digital Reference Service (CDRS)

3 AskA… Services Non-library based Usually staffed by volunteer subject experts Most accept questions, decide which to answer, and then post those answers. Not everyone gets a response.

4 AskA… Services Examples Ask Shamu Ask Dr. Universe AllExperts VRD: AskA+ Locator

5 AllExperts.com Expert registers and picks categories User picks an expert and posts a question Expert receives an with the question and a link to the page with the answer options.

6 AllExperts.com

7 Expert decides whether or not they can answer the question. Expert responds with the answer. User receives an telling them their answer (or other response) is available. User may leave feedback for the expert.

8 login AllExperts.com

9 AskA… Services Benefits Questions answered by subject experts Anonymous from the user perspective Disadvantages No clear definition of who is an expert Time lag up to several days Little ability for reference interview

10 -based Reference Patron sends an with a question to the reference department of the library. Dedicated staff member or team monitors the accounts inbox for new questions. Librarian finds the answer and sends an back to the patron.

11 -based Reference Examples Humboldt State University (CA) library.humboldt.edu/infoservices/ ref.htm library.humboldt.edu/infoservices/ ref.htm Fairfax County Public Library (VA) New York State Library Directory of Reference Sites alexia.lis.uiuc.edu/~b-sloan/ .html alexia.lis.uiuc.edu/~b-sloan/ .html

12 -based Reference Benefits Patron does not need to come into the library. Librarians can take more time to answer a question since the user is not on hold. Disadvantages Turn around time is usually around 24- hours unless there is a dedicated librarian. Asynchronous communication not conducive to the reference Interview.

13 Chat-based Reference Live Patron accesses the librarys chat service with their Web browser Librarian greets the patron and patron asks their question Reference interview performed as needed

14 Chat-based Reference Patron is put on virtual hold Librarian finds the answer and types it back to the patron Patron disconnects from the chat system

15 Chat-based Reference Examples KnowItNow (Cleveland Public Library) 24/7 Reference Live Librarian University of PA Biomedical Reference refchat.library.upenn.edu/refchat-biomed.html refchat.library.upenn.edu/refchat-biomed.html

16 Chat-based Reference Benefits Just-in-time online reference Disadvantages Patron may need additional technology to access (plug-in) Connection speed an issue Current software lacks archiving and searching functions

17 The Collaborative Digital Reference Service (CDRS) Sponsored by OCLC and LOC Library to library reference service

18 CDRS Library registers for the service and fills out a profile Contact information Subject areas Times available Asking library posts a question to the system

19 CDRS

20 Benefits International Public libraries share their knowledge (local) with academic libraries (research) Every question sent through the system to date has been successfully answered

21 CDRS Disadvantages Usually a minimum of a 24-hour turn around time Archive (KnowledgeBase) not yet available Not yet open to the general public

22 Effects of these Services AskA services are popular with the public but are not viewed as serious competition to the library world. So far, most libraries have reported that the library-to-patron services have had a minimal impact. CDRS is still in the early stages but participants have had significant success.

23 Questions?


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