Full Record – Author

Ref Type: Journal Article

Authors: Balas,Janet,

Title: Is the reference librarian real or virtual?

Publication Full: Computers in Libraries

Year: 2003 Volume: 23 Issue: 4

Start Page: 48 Other Pages: 51

Descriptors: ELECTRONIC reference services (Libraries), INFORMATION services, ELECTRONIC information resource searching, REFERENCE librarians, ONLINE chat groups, INTERNET telephony, LIBRARIES — Automation, Reference interviews, Practical methods, Models, PENNSYLVANIA Online World of Electronic Resources (Organization),


'But I just wanted to speak to a live person!' I'm sure you've heard, or perhaps even uttered, this plaintive wail after a frustrating experience with a voice mail system. Sometimes the menu choices just don't fit the situation and leave no options for actually reaching a live person. As a librarian, you hope that your users are not driven to this level of frustration by your library's voice mail system. Automation such as this is often used in the name of efficiency, promising better service by handling routine chores more quickly, leaving you more time for personalized service. It does seem like a good idea to have a call for library hours handled by the 'automated assistant' instead of forcing a busy person to recite the hours for the umpteenth time, but it may not help the patron who wants to know if the library could host a community meeting outside of regular hours. Automation, when not designed and implemented correctly, can be both rigid and impersonal. Reference service, however, is perhaps the most variable and the most personal service offered by the library. It has, therefore, been the last area in our field to be radically changed by information technology. Certainly the reference librarian employs information technology to search for answers to questions, but the reference interview, the one-on-one interaction between the librarian and the patron, has remained the most successful way to deliver quality service.


M3: Article; Balas, Janet I.; Source Info: Apr2003, Vol. 23 Issue 4, p48; Note: Publisher's URL: http://www.infotoday.com; Note: Publisher: Information Today Inc.; Note: Update Code: 3806; Subject Term: ELECTRONIC reference services (Libraries); Subject Term: INFORMATION services; Subject Term: ELECTRONIC information resource searching; Subject Term: REFERENCE librarians; Subject Term: ONLINE chat groups; Subject Term: INTERNET telephony; Subject Term: LIBRARIES — Automation; Author-Supplied Keyword: Reference interviews; Author-Supplied Keyword: Practical methods; Author-Supplied Keyword: Models; Number of Pages: 4p; Illustrations: 4c. Document Type: Article

Links: NULL

Extra Data: NULL


Retrieved Date:January 1, 1970

Editors: NULL

Book Title: NULL

Series Title: NULL

Publisher: Information Today Inc

Place Of Publication: NULL

Issn Isbn: 10417915