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Virtual Reference Service

Jan 2008 | 224pp

Paperback
9781856046381
Price: £64.95
CILIP members price: £51.95


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Virtual Reference Service
From competencies to assessment

Edited by R David Lankes, Scott Nicholson, Marie L. Radford, Joanne Silverstein, Lynn Westbrook and Philip Nast

During the last decade, virtual reference has grown from a topic of largely theoretical conversation into a very real and practical library service. This is the latest volume in a groundbreaking series of cutting-edge conference titles which influenced that development, following on from Implementing Digital Reference Services (2002) and The Virtual Reference Desk (2006). 
 
Leading experts in the reference field contribute to this new collection, which shares with the reader examples of best practice, forward-looking models, and advice on new developments in virtual reference.The contributors discuss the building of consortia, motivational and coaching techniques for staff, instant messaging options, the creation of subject-specific taxonomies, how to improve interpersonal communications, methods of assessment and much more. 
 
A special section of the book introduces the all-new core competencies and standards of the Digital Reference Education Initiative, a funded project to compile training tools from digital reference educators and practitioners.
 
The book is divided into four parts: each chapter offers both practical guidance and the latest thinking about virtual reference work in libraries:
  • Part 1: Starting up - creating your own consortium in less than six months: a true story of virtual reference; and implementing virtual reference on the fly: staff motivation and buy-in. 
  • Part 2: Branching out - adding instant messaging to an established virtual reference service; responding to triage taxonomy: answering virtual medical questions; and the evolving role of reference librarians in the health sciences environment. 
  • Part 3: Ongoing improvement - examining interpersonal communication in virtual reference encounters: the library LAWLINE consortium; and assessing inappropriate use: learning from the AskColorado experience. 
  • Part 4: Pulling it together - virtual reference training - meeting the challenges of reference service in a hybrid environment: teaching LIS students today; and a comprehensive virtual reference training program.

PART 1: STARTING UP  

 
Introduction: The Virtual Reference Desk Conferences as a Revelatory Case - R David Lankes  
 
1. Creating Your Own Consortium in Less than Six Months: A True Story of Virtual Reference - Helene Lafrance, Locke Morrisey and Judy Trump  
  • Overview
  • Introduction and background
  • Choice of software
  • Implementation committee
  • Details of implementation
  • Problems and challenges
  • Assessment
  • A year later
  • References 
2. Implementing VR on the Fly: Staff Motivation and Buy-In - Clare Ogbaa, Lorin Flores Fisher and Lisa Ancelet
  • Overview
  • Introduction and background
  • Before virtual reference: a traditional management model
  • Embracing change: rethinking common goals
  • Conclusion
  • References 
PART 2: BRANCHING OUT  
 
3. Adding Instant Messaging to an Established Virtual Reference Service: Asking "r u there?" - Pam Sessoms and Jean Ferguson  
  • Overview
  • Introduction and background 
  • The lay of the land
  • Why IM?
  • Commercial virtual reference vs. instant messaging
  • Statistics
  • Staffing models
  • Marketing
  • Training
  • Just-in-time training
  • Back end
  • Script
  • Future
  • References  
4. Responding to Triage Taxonomy: Answering Virtual Medical Questions - Catherine Arnott Smith  
  • Overview
  • Introduction and background 
  • Web-based consumer health information seeking
  • Ethical dimensions of consumer health information practice
  • Medical questions and virtual reference
  • Development of the triage taxonomy
  • References   
5. The Evolving Role of Reference Librarians in the Health Sciences Environment - Gabriel R Rios  
  • Overview
  • Introduction and background
  • Liaison
  • Information technology coach
  • Online architect
  • Challenges
  • The future
  • References 
PART 3: ONGOING IMPROVEMENT 
 
6. Examining Interpersonal Communication in Virtual Reference Encounters: The Library LAWLINE Consortium - Marie L Radford  
  • Overview
  • Introduction and background
  • Literature review
  • Research questions
  • Method
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix 6A: Classification scheme for interpersonal communication in library LAWLINE consortium chat reference transcripts
  • References 
7. Assessing Inappropriate Use: Learning from the AskColorado Experience - Jack Madness and Sarah Naper
  • Overview
  • Introduction and background
  • Literature review
  • Methodology
  • Results
  • Conclusion
  • References 
PART 4: PULLING IT TOGETHER: VR TRAINING  
 
8. Meeting the Challenges of Reference Services in a Hybrid Environment: Teahcing LIS Students Today - Debbie L Rabina  
  • Overview
  • Introduction and background
  • Purpose of study
  • Literature review
  • Teaching reference: a personal perspective
  • Observed outcomes
  • Recommendations for further research
  • References 
9. A Comprehensive VR Training Program - Joann Wasik
  • Overview
  • Introduction and background
  • The three levels of competency
  • Training and education
  • Stages in creating a training program
  • Core competencies for virtual reference
  • Appendix
  • Conclusion
  • References 

"Virtual reference services in Britain have developed somewhat differently from those in the USA but useful pointers will be gained by reviewing the research and experience reported in this volume."
- Refer

Dr R. David Lankes, Director, Information Institute of Syracuse; Dr Scott Nicholson, Assistant Professor, School of Information Studies, Syracuse University; Dr Marie L. Radford, Associate Professor, Rutgers University, SCILS; Dr Joanne Silverstein, Director of Research and Development, Information Institute of Syracuse; Dr Lynn Westbrook, researcher; and Philip Nast, freelance writer.

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