Full Record – Author

Ref Type: Journal Article

Authors: Coffman,Steve,

Title: Reference as others do it

Publication Full: American Libraries

Year: 1999 Volume: 30 Issue: 5

Start Page: 54 Other Pages: 56

Descriptors: REFERENCE services (Libraries), LIBRARY science, TELEPHONE in business, CALL centers, LIBRARIES — Management, Cost, Models, Productivity,


Describes the multiple benefits possible for the reference desks of many libraries if they consider adopting elements of the model of business efficiency offered by the Customer Call Center established by Chase Manhattan Bank. Its 1,200 centrally-located customer service representatives routinely handle about 70 million calls a year at an average rate of more than 191,000 calls per day, or nearly 8,000 calls per hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Inbound call centers of all types support a wide variety of businesses, including insurance, healthcare (telemedicine), travel services, express shipping, catalog retailing, and software and hardware support. These facilities answer incoming calls in much the same way that reference librarians do. The only difference is that incoming-call centers have been designed and redesigned to provide information more efficiently and at lower cost than libraries do. Overviews some call-center strategies, and discusses how they can be adapted for use in library reference services.


M3: Article; Coffman, Steve; Source Info: May99, Vol. 30 Issue 5, p54; Note: Publisher: American Library Association; Note: Update Code: 3404; Subject Term: REFERENCE services (Libraries); Subject Term: LIBRARY science; Subject Term: TELEPHONE in business; Subject Term: CALL centers; Subject Term: LIBRARIES — Management; Author-Supplied Keyword: Cost; Author-Supplied Keyword: Models; Author-Supplied Keyword: Productivity; Number of Pages: 3p. Document Type: Article

Links: NULL

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Retrieved Date:January 1, 1970

Editors: NULL

Book Title: NULL

Series Title: NULL

Publisher: American Library Association

Place Of Publication: NULL

Issn Isbn: 29769