1st Edition

Virtual Reference Service
From Competencies to Assessment



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ISBN 9781856046381
Published January 27, 2008 by Facet Publishing
224 Pages

USD $84.95

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

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 2. Implementing VR on the Fly: Staff Motivation and Buy-In - Clare Ogbaa, Lorin Flores Fisher and Lisa Ancelet PART 2: BRANCHING OUT 3. Adding Instant Messaging to an Established Virtual Reference Service: Asking "r u there?" - Pam Sessoms and Jean Ferguson 4. Responding to Triage Taxonomy: Answering Virtual Medical Questions - Catherine Arnott Smith 5. The Evolving Role of Reference Librarians in the Health Sciences Environment - Gabriel R Rios PART 3: Ongoing Improvement 6. Examining Interpersonal Communication in Virtual Reference Encounters: The Library LAWLINE Consortium - Marie L Radford 7. Assessing Inappropriate Use: Learning from the AskColorado Experience - Jack Madness and Sarah Naper 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 9. A Comprehensive VR Training Program - Joann Wasik.

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