Full Record – Author

Ref Type: Journal Article

Authors: Radford,Marie L., Kern,M. Kathleen,

Title: A multiple-case study investigation of the discontinuation of nine chat reference services

Publication Full: Library & Information Science Research

Year: 2006 Volume: 28 Issue: 4

Start Page: 521 Other Pages: 547

Descriptors: NULL


Using the multiple-case study method, this research investigates reasons why nine virtual reference (chat) services have been discontinued. The investigation of these five academic, one public, and three consortial chat services was conducted through structured e-mail and telephone interviews with the library decision makers and analysis of available reports and documents. The major reason for discontinuation was funding problems, followed by low volume (including low volume by target audience). Other reasons were staffing problems, technical problems, and institutional culture issues. Staffing issues included the need for comfortable staffing patterns, maintenance of sufficient volume to maintain proficiency, and cultivation of positive attitudes. Technical problems centered on software malfunctions and connectivity difficulties. Within two of the consortia, different patterns of funding, staffing, and mission posed difficulties for blended cultures that caused the consortia to break up. Despite all these issues, the possibility of restarting chat services, perhaps in consortia or with simpler chat software, exists for all services, with two services desiring to restart when funds and reorganization permit.


id: 186

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Retrieved Date:January 1, 1970

Editors: NULL

Book Title: NULL

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Publisher: NULL

Place Of Publication: NULL

Issn Isbn: NULL