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Ref Type: Journal Article

Authors: Moyo,Lesley M.,

Title: Virtual reference services and instruction: An assessment

Publication Full: The Reference Librarian

Year: 2006 Volume: 46 Issue: 95

Start Page: 213 Other Pages: 230

Descriptors: REFERENCE services (Libraries), INTERNET in library reference services, LIBRARIES — User satisfaction, ELECTRONIC reference services (Libraries), LIBRARIES & students, NEEDS assessment, RESEARCH, INTERNET users, COMMUNICATION, Face-to-face, COMMUNICATION styles, COLLEGE students — Services for, Services for, digital reference service-assessment, e-reference, reference services-instruction, reference services-pedagogy, Virtual reference service-assessment, VRS-instruction,


This paper assesses the incorporation of instruction in library virtual reference services (VRS), and explores whether the rate, and nature of instruction provided to patrons during VRS sessions is different than that provided during face-to-face reference. The Penn State VRS was used as a case study in this assessment. An analysis of a sample of archived Penn State VRS transcripts was conducted to assess the nature and quantity of instruction provided based on the presence of defined instructional elements incorporated in the sessions. The paper discusses the similarities and differences in approach to instruction during VRS and face-to-face reference, and how these relate to overall instructional services in academic libraries. The paper also reviews findings of some similar studies cited in the literature. The findings of this study indicate that there is a significant amount of instruction taking place during both face-to-face reference and VRS. Furthermore, the approach to instruction in both reference environments is very similar. However, the VRS system in use at Penn State (LSSI Virtual Reference Toolkit), because of its technological features and capability, has facilitated new and unique enhancements to instructive reference that are not available in face-to-face reference. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]; Copyright of Reference Librarian is the property of Haworth Press and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)


M3: Article; Moyo, Lesley M. 1; Email Address: lmm26@psu.edu; Affiliations: 1: Head, Gateway Libraries, Penn State University, University Park, PA Source Info: 2006, Vol. 46 Issue 95/96, p213; Thesaurus Term: REFERENCE services (Libraries); Thesaurus Term: INTERNET in library reference services; Thesaurus Term: LIBRARIES — User satisfaction; Thesaurus Term: ELECTRONIC reference services (Libraries); Thesaurus Term: LIBRARIES & students; Thesaurus Term: NEEDS assessment; Thesaurus Term: RESEARCH; Thesaurus Term: INTERNET users; Subject Term: COMMUNICATION, Face-to-face; Subject Term: COMMUNICATION styles; Subject Term: COLLEGE students — Services for; Subject Term: Services for; Author-Supplied Keyword: digital reference service-assessment; Author-Supplied Keyword: e-reference; Author-Supplied Keyword: reference services-instruction; Author-Supplied Keyword: reference services-pedagogy; Author-Supplied Keyword: Virtual reference service-assessment; Author-Supplied Keyword: VRS-instruction; Number of Pages: 18p. Document Type: Article

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Retrieved Date:January 1, 1970

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Publisher: Haworth Press

Place Of Publication: NULL

Issn Isbn: 2763877