Full Record – Author

Ref Type: Journal Article

Authors: Clapp,Janet, Pfeil,Angela,

Title: Virtually seamless

Publication Full: Public Libraries

Year: 2005 Volume: 44 Issue: 2

Start Page: 95 Other Pages: 100

Descriptors: DIGITAL libraries, INFORMATION services, LIBRARY users, LIBRARIANS, LIBRARY orientation,


This article focuses on virtual librarianship and the public library user. Virtual librarians bring age- and department-specific levels of experience to work but unlike public librarians, they are unable to send a child to the children's room for help, or an adult to the circulation desk. Virtual librarians serve customers of all kinds, regardless of their previous expertise through a relatively new medium that is becoming a common means of communication for people of all ages. They may offer reader's advisory to a young teen one minute and bibliographic instruction to a senior citizen the next. The term virtual reference is used to describe real-time, online, chat-based reference. It appears as a written conversation between librarian and patron like instant messaging. There are varying levels of digital or virtual reference service. The most basic technology uses only asynchronous interactions where the user and librarian communicate in a delayed fashion as opposed to the live one. Virtual reference is a growing service and it is difficult to obtain exact numbers. Many services are collaborative efforts. Due to privacy and anonymity issues, the virtual librarian often has no statistics or profile to define the virtual user quantitatively.


M3: Article; Clapp, Janet 1; Email Address: clapp@charter.net; Pfeil, Angela 2,3; Email Address: apfeil@hdpl.org; Affiliations: 1: Virtual Reference Librarian, Tutor.com 2: Manager, Pittman Cybrary, Henderson, Nev. 3: Virtual Reference Librarian, Librarians by Request, Tutor.com Source Info: Mar/Apr2005, Vol. 44 Issue 2, p95; Thesaurus Term: DIGITAL libraries; Thesaurus Term: INFORMATION services; Thesaurus Term: LIBRARY users; Thesaurus Term: LIBRARIANS; Thesaurus Term: LIBRARY orientation; Number of Pages: 6p; Illustrations: 1bw. Document Type: Article

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Retrieved Date:January 1, 1970

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Issn Isbn: 1635506