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Ref Type: Journal Article

Authors: Pace,Andrew K.,

Title: Virtual reference: What's in a name?

Publication Full: Computers in Libraries

Year: 2003 Volume: 23 Issue: 4

Start Page: 55 Other Pages: 56

Descriptors: LIBRARIES — Automation, REFERENCE services (Libraries), INFORMATION services, TECHNICAL services (Libraries), KNOWLEDGE management, NEW products, LIBRARIES,


I have a problem with virtual reference. Not the service…well OK, I have some problems with the service. But the biggest problem I have is with how we have gone about creating and marketing one of the most interesting services ever to come out of libraries (as opposed to all the ones that come at us these days). What's my beef with virtual reference? I have three. First are the names we have chosen for these groundbreaking services. Second is the notion that some sort of worldwide collaborative effort will evolve so that a highly qualified subject expert can adequately answer any question at any time of day. And third is the idea that we can actually arrive at some sort of standard by which questions are categorized, answers are cataloged, and the all-knowing virtual knowledgebase is created by the fruits of our reference, metadata, and IT labors. The can of worms is now open, but I am not going to spend a lot of time talking about how bad this is for libraries and how we should beat this service to a pulp with the collective stick of library online reference services. Suffice it to say that this service will be doomed to failure only if we proactively kill it.


ID: 347; M3: Article; Source Information: Apr2003, Vol. 23 Issue 4, p55; Subject Term: LIBRARIES — Automation; Subject Term: REFERENCE services (Libraries); Subject Term: INFORMATION services; Subject Term: TECHNICAL services (Libraries); Subject Term: KNOWLEDGE management; Subject Term: NEW products; Subject Term: LIBRARIES; Number of Pages: 2p; Illustrations: 1c; Document Type: Article; Full Text Word Count: 1654

Links: NULL

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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