Full Record – Author

Ref Type: Journal Article

Authors: Balleste,Roy, Russell,Gordon,

Title: Implementing virtual reference: Hollywood technology in real life

Publication Full: Computers in Libraries

Year: 2003 Volume: 23 Issue: 4

Start Page: 14 Other Pages: 17

Descriptors: INFORMATION retrieval, ONLINE chat groups, ONLINE library catalogs, LAW libraries, ACADEMIC libraries, LIBRARIES, TECHNOLOGY,


Hollywood is often one step ahead of reality because many movies portray technologies that aren't available yet. For many, this technological concept might have seemed revolutionary–but interestingly, it's available to us already. I (Roy Balleste) had gone to the Computers in Libraries Conference in 2001 and had seen a demonstration of chat reference at work, which convinced me of its potential applications on Earth. Our interest in virtual reference was spurred by decisions to increase the digital holdings of the law library. The Internet has brought great developments in communication, some of which were introduced as customer service applications. Out of these technologies the Virtual Reference Desk (VRD) was created. Although the concept of chat reference was being tested in several academic libraries by early 2001, many institutions just stayed in the theater seats to watch the show. I had a vision that the online catalog should serve as the portal to the virtual library in much the same way that the library entrance invites our students and faculty inside. At the same time, the law school started an online Master of Laws (LL.M.) program in international taxation that required students to spend 1 week on campus to be trained to use the online databases that they would have access to as well as the online catalog and other library resources. (I had already taught an online course to law students titled Computer Assisted Legal Research and had used some Voice over IP (VoIP) software for weekly synchronous group meetings. Co-browsing permits the librarian to utilize the patron's computer browser to show him the same Web page that the librarian is looking at.


M3: Article; Balleste, Roy; Russell, Gordon; Source Info: Apr2003, Vol. 23 Issue 4, p14; Thesaurus Term: INFORMATION retrieval; Thesaurus Term: ONLINE chat groups; Thesaurus Term: ONLINE library catalogs; Thesaurus Term: LAW libraries; Thesaurus Term: ACADEMIC libraries; Thesaurus Term: LIBRARIES; Subject Term: TECHNOLOGY; Number of Pages: 4p; Illustrations: 1c, 1bw. Document Type: Article; Full Text Word Count: 2411

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Retrieved Date:January 1, 1970

Editors: NULL

Book Title: NULL

Series Title: NULL

Publisher: Information Today Inc

Place Of Publication: NULL

Issn Isbn: 10417915