Virtual Reference Resources

Planning

Why should you provide virtual reference?

Breitbach, William, Matthew Mallard, and Robert Sage. “Using Meebo's Embedded IM for Academic Reference Services: A Case Study.” Reference Services Review 37, no. 1 (2009): 83-98. doi:10.1108/00907320910935011.

Kipnis, Daniel. G., and Gary E. Kaplan. “Analysis and Lessons Learned Instituting an Instant Messaging Reference Service at an Academic Health Sciences Library: The First Year.”  Medical Reference Services Quarterly 27, no. 1 (2008): 33-51. doi:10.1080/02763860802080119. http://jdc.jefferson.edu/dan_kipnis/10/

McCulley, Lucretia, and Olivia Reinauer. “Connecting with AIM: The Search for a Virtual Reference Niche.”College & Undergraduate Libraries 13, no. 4 (2006): 43-54. doi:10.1300/il 06v I 3n04̱04.

What is your budget?

Collaborative/Statewide VR Programs

Breidenbaugh, Andrew. “Budget Planning and Performance Measures for Virtual Reference Services.” Reference Librarian 46, no. 95/96 (2006): 113-124.

Eakin, Lori, and Jeffrey Pomerantz. “Virtual Reference, Real Money: Modeling Costs in Virtual Reference Services.”portal: Libraries & the Academy 9, no. 1 (2009): 133-164.

Planning on a Low Budget

Dalston, Teresa, and Michael Pullin, eds. Virtual Reference on a Budget: Case Studies. Columbus, OH: Linworth Publishing Company, 2007.

VR Budget

Kern, M. Kathleen. Virtual Reference Best Practices: Tailoring Services to Your Library. Chicago: American Library Association, 2009.

MARS Digital Reference Guidelines Ad Hoc Committee. “Guidelines for Implementing and Maintaining Virtual Reference Services.” Section 4.3 Finances. Last modified June 2004. http://www.ala.org/rusa/resources/guidelines/virtrefguidelines.

Marsteller, Matthew, and Susan Ware. “Models for Measuring & Evaluating Reference Costs: A Comparative Analysis of Traditional and Virtual Reference Services.” Presented at the Virtual Reference Desk Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX, November 17, 2003. http://repository.cmu.edu/lib_science/68/.

What will your policies look like?

Cleveland, Ana D., and Jodi L. Philbrick. “Virtual Reference Services for the Academic Health Sciences Librarian 2.0.” Medical Reference Services Quarterly 26, no. S1 (2007): 25-49.

Coffman, Steve. Going Live: Starting & Running a Virtual Reference Service. Chicago: American Library Association, 2003.

Kern, Kathleen, and Esther Gillie. “Virtual Reference Policies: An Examination of Current Practices.” In The Virtual Reference Experience: Integrating Theory into Practice, edited by R.D. Lankes, Joseph Janes, Linda C. Smith, and Christina M. Finneran, 165-184. New York: Neal Schuman, 2004.

Kibbee, Jo. “Librarians Without Borders? Virtual Reference Service to Unaffiliated Users.” The Journal of Academic Librarianship 32, no. 5 (2006): 467-473.

Lankes, R. David, Charles R. McClure, Melissa Gross, and Jeffrey Pomerantz. Implementing Digital Reference Services: Setting Standards and Making it Real. Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2003.

Lipow, Anne Grodzins. The Virtual Reference Librarian’s Handbook. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2003.  

Ronan, Jana, and Carol Turner. SPEC Kit 273: Chat Reference. Washington, D.C.: Association of Research Libraries, 2002. Policies and Guidelines on pages 68-89. Available at http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015051577289;view=1up;seq=1

Weismantel, Arlene and Christine Tobias. "Exploring Service Quality in Cooperative Reference." Video, 6:48. Posted January 31, 2012. http://youtu.be/rrdbOe2du10.

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Skills

Conduct an Effective Reference Interview

Bopp, R.E, & Smith, L.C. (Eds.). Reference and Information Services: An Introduction (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2011).

"Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers," Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), accessed August 28, 2013, http://www.ala.org/rusa/resources/guidelines/guidelinesbehavioral.

"Infopeople Workshop - Reference Interview Skills," Infopeople, accessed August 28, 2013, http://www.infopeople.org/training/past/2004/reference.

Kovacs, Diane, Virtual Reference Handbook: Interview and Information Delivery Techniques for the Chat and E-Mail Environments (New York : Neal-Schuman, 2007).

"Module 2. Interview: Ohio Reference Excellence (ORE)," Ohio Library Council, updated June 2008, accessed August 28, 2013, http://www.olc.org/ore/2intro.htm.

Ross, C.S, Nilsen, K., and Radford, M.L. Conducting the Reference Interview : A How-to-do-it Manual for Librarians. (New York : Neal-Schuman, 2009).

"Virtual Reference Bibliography," Rutgers School of Communication and Information, accessed August 28, 2013, http://vrbib.rutgers.edu/.

Evaluate Online Reference Transactions for Improvement

Hirko, Buff and Mary Bucher Ross. Virtual Reference Training: The Complete Guide to Providing Anytime, Anywhere Answers. Chicago: American Library Association, 2004. See esp. chap. 7, "Learning Activities: Taking the User Perspective,"  and appendix D, "Secret Patron Scenarios."

"How To Be A Secret Patron," Answerland, accessed October 30, 2014, https://www.answerland.org/blog/201012/how-be-secret-patron.

Minkin, Rachel, and Suzanne Bernsten. "What Makes Great Virtual Reference Service: A Madlibs Method of Discovery." Presentation at the Association of College & Research Libraries Conference, Indianapolis, IN, April 2013. http://tinyurl.com/btjsvfq.

Radford, Marie, and Lynn Silipigni Connaway. "Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, and Librarian Perspectives." (working paper, OCLC Research, Dublin, OH, 2008). http://www.oclc.org/research/activities/synchronicity.html.

"What Makes Great Virtual Reference Service: A Madlibs Method of Discovery (Handout)," Rachel Minkin and Suzanne Bernsten, accessed August 12, 2013, http://tinyurl.com/bnd2zfd.

"Research Help Now (RHN) Best Chat Transcript Rubric," Research Help Now, accessed August 12, 2013, http://tinyurl.com/RHNBestTranscriptRubric.

              Weak, Emily and Lili Luo (2013), Collaborative Virtual Reference Service: Lessons from the Past Decade, in Anne Woodsworth, W. David Penniman (ed.) Mergers and Alliances: The Operational View and Cases                              (Advances in Librarianship, Volume 37), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.81-112.

Woodard, Beth. S. "Training and Continual Learning for Staff." In Reference and Information Services: An Introduction, edited by Richard Bopp and Linda Smith,  261-301. Denver, CO: Librarians Unlimited, 2011. 

Create and Apply Reference Policies

"24/7 Reference Cooperative Policies and Procedures," QuestionPoint, accessed August 12, 2013, http://wiki.questionpoint.org/w/page/13839422/247-Policies.

"Ask Us 24/7 Policies and Procedures," Ask Us 24/7, last modified April 2011, accessed August 12, 2013, http://www.askus247.org/librarians/askuspolicies.pdf.

Hirko, Buff and Mary Bucher Ross. Virtual Reference Training: The Complete Guide to Providing Anytime, Anywhere Answers. Chicago: American Library Association, 2004. See esp. appendix E, "Policies and Procedures."

"Mutual Respect and Acceptable Behavior Policy," AskColorado, accessed August 12, 2013, http://www.askcolorado.org/ask-colorado-mutual-respect-and-acceptable-behavior-guidelines/.

"Research Help Now (Michigan Virtual Reference Service Collaborative): Manual of Policies and Procedures," Research Help Now, accessed August 12, 2013, http://www.researchhelpnow.org/documents/VR_Manual_Policies_and_Procedures_2012.pdf.

Ronan, Jana Smith. Chat Reference: A Guide to Virtual Reference Services. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2003. See esp. chap. 8, "Guidelines and Policies for Reference in Real Time."

"Site Supervisor Manual for Ask Us 24/7," Ask Us 24/7, last modified June 2011, accessed August 12, 2013,http://www.askus247.org/info/site_supervisor_manual.pdf.

"Your Privacy," AskColorado, accessed August 12, 2013, http://www.askcolorado.org/your-privacy-2/.

Use Various Communication Methods and Tools Effectively

American Library Association. Virtual Reference: A Selected Annotated Bibliography. ALA Library Fact Sheet 19, last modified August 2006, accessed July 31, 2013, http://www.ala.org/tools/libfactsheets/alalibraryfactsheet19.

Bailey, Jody. “Informal Screencasting: Results of a Customer-Satisfaction Survey With a Convenience Sample.” New Library World 113, nos. 1/2 (2012): 7-26, accessed July 31, 2013, doi.org/10.1108/03074801211199013.

Breitbach, William, and Adolfo G. Prieto. “Text Reference via Google Voice: A Pilot Study.” Library Review 61, no. 3 (2012): 188-198, accessed July 31, 2013, doi.org/10.1108/00242531211259319.

Dalrymple, Connie. “Perceptions and Practices of Learning Styles in Library Instruction.” College and Research Libraries 63, no. 2 (2002): 261-273, accessed July 31, 2013, http://crl.acrl.org/content/63/3/261.full.pdf
 
Elmborg, James K. "Teaching at the Desk: Toward a Reference Pedagogy." portal: Libraries and the Academy 2, no. 3 (2002): 455-464, accessed July 31, 2013, doi:10.1353/pla.2002.0050.
Griffis, Patrick. “Building Pathfinders with Free Screen Capture Tools.” Information Technology and Libraries 28, no. 4 (2009): 189-190, accessed July 31, 2013, Academic Search Complete (46729950).
 
Hensley, Randall B. “Learning Style Theory and Learning Transfer Principles During Reference Interview Instruction.” Library Trends 39, no. 3 (1991): 203-209, accessed July 31, 2013, https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/bitstream/handle/2142/7729/librarytrends....
 
Mupinga, Davison M., Robert T. Nora, and Dorothy Carole Yaw. "The Learning Styles, Expectations, and Needs of Online Students." College Teaching 54, no. 1 (2006): 185-189, accessed July 31, 2013, ERIC (EJ744361).
 
Sweeney, Jennifer Karb. “Interpreting Skill Development in Academic Library Reference Work: An Application of the Dreyfus Model.” (PhD Diss., University of California, Los Angeles, 2006), accessed July 31, 2013, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (ProQuest Document ID 305341661).
 

Information Literacy

Technologies

Burke, John. Neal-Schuman LIbrary Technology Companion: A Basic Guide for Library Staff. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2006.

Coffman, Steve. "We'll Take It From Here: Further Developments We'd Like to See in Virtual Reference Software." Information Technology & Libraries 20, no. 3 (2001): 149-153.

Kern, M. Kathleen. Virtual Reference Best Practices: Tailoring Service to Your Library. Chicago: American Library Association, 2009.

Lihitkar, Shalini R. "Establishing a Virtual Reference Service." DESIDOC Journal of Library & Information Technolog 31, no. 1 (2011): 31-34.

Lipow, Anne Grodzins. The Virtual Reference Librarian's Handbook. Berkeley: Library Solutions Press, 2003.

LIS Wiki Chat Reference Libraries: http://liswiki.org/wiki/Chat_reference_libraries

Meola, Marc, and Sam Stormont. Starting and Operating Live Virtual Reference Services: A How-to-Do-It Manual for Librarians. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2002.

Thomsett-Scott, Beth C. Implementing Virtual Reference Services: A LITA Guide ALA TechSource, 2013.

Virtual Reference: A Selected Annotated Bibliography: http://www.ala.org/tools/libfactsheets/alalibraryfactsheet19

Weismantel, Arlene and Christine Tobias. "Exploring Service Quality in Cooperative Reference." Video, 6:48. Posted January 31, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrdbOe2du10&context=C4d3d4dcADvjVQa1PpcFO35LBKEqBI_45Fmu5_KF1Ql3M_KYVhits.

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Staffing/Partners

Articles & Books

Bishop, Bradley Wade and Matt Torrence. “Virtual Reference Services: Consortium versus Stand-Alone.” College & Undergraduate Libraries 13, no. 4 (2007): 117-127. http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J106v13n04_08

Duncan, Vicky and Angie Gerrard. "All Together Now! Integrating Virtual Reference in the Academic Library." Reference & User Services Quarterly 50, no. 3 (2011): 280-292.

Kern, M. Kathleen. Virtual Reference Best Practices : Tailoring Services to Your Library. Chicago: American Library Association, 2009.

Lankes, R. David, Marilyn Domas White, Eileen G. Abels, and Saira N. Haque. Virtual Reference Desk: Creating a Reference Future. The Virtual Reference Desk Series. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2006.

Nicol, Erica Carlson and Linda Crook. "Now it's Necessary: Virtual Reference Services at Washington State University, Pullman." The Journal of Academic Librarianship 39, no. 2 (2013): 161-168. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2012.09.017

Powers, Amanda Clay, David Nolen, Li Zhang, Yue Xu, and Gail Peyton. "Moving from the Consortium to the Reference Desk: Keeping Chat and Improving Reference at the MSU Libraries." Internet Reference Services Quarterly 15, no. 3 (2010): 169-188. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10875301.2010.500939

Guidelines & Policies

RUSA Guidelines for Implementing and Maintaining Virtual Reference Services – has numerous parts on staffing, including a personnel section

QuestionPoint Wiki - includes Policies and Procedures

IFLA Digital Reference Guidelines

Videos

Weismantel, Arlene and Christine Tobias. Exploring Service Quality in Cooperative Reference. Video, 6:47. 2011. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrdbOe2du10

 

Marketing

Assessment

Framework/Measures

Kern, M. K. "Looking at the Bigger Picture: An Integrated Approach to Evaluation of Chat Reference Services." Reference Librarian 46, no. 95 (2006): 99-112. doi: 10.1300/J120v46n95_07

Luo, Lili. “Chat Reference Evaluation: a Framework of Perspectives and Measures.”Reference Services Review 36, no. 1 (2008): 71–85. doi:10.1108/00907320810852041.

Novotny, Eric. Assessing reference and user services in a digital age. New York: Haworth Information Press, 2012.

Wan, Gang (Gary), et al. Key Issues Surrounding Virtual Chat Reference Model: A Case Study. 37, no. 1 (2009): 73-82. doi:10.1108/00907320910937299

Service Quality/Customer Service

Kwon, Nahyun, and Vicki L. Gregory. "The Effects of Librarians' Behavioral Performance on User Satisfaction in Chat Reference Services." Reference & User Services Quarterly 47, no.2 (2007): 137-48. doi: 10.5860/rusq.47n2

Maximek, Sarah, Eric Rushton, and Elizabeth Brown. “Coding into the Great Unknown: Analyzing Instant Messaging Session Transcripts to Identify User Behaviors and Measure Quality of Service.” College & Research Libraries 71, no. 4 (2010): 361–373.

Pomerantz, Jeffrey, Lili Luo, and Charles McClure. “Peer Review of Chat Reference Transcripts: Approaches and Strategies.” Library & Information Science Research 28, no. 1 (2006): 24–48. doi:10.1016/j.lisr.2005.11.004

Turel, Ofir, Catherine E. Connelly, Glenda M. Fisk. “Service with an e-smile: Employee authenticity and customer use of web-based support services.” Information & Management 50, no. 1-2 (2013): 98-104. doi:10.1016/j.im.2013.02.004

Weismantel, Arlene and Christine Tobias. "Exploring Service Quality in Cooperative Reference." Video, 6:48. Posted January 31, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrdbOe2du10&context=C4d3d4dcADvjVQa1PpcFO35LBKEqBI_45Fmu5_KF1Ql3M_KYVhits.

 Service Process/Usage Statistics

Graybill, Jolie Ogg, and Tracy Bicknell-Holmes. "Location, Location, Location: The Impact of IM Widget Placement." College & Undergraduate Libraries 20, no.1 (2013): 72-86. doi:10.1080/10691316.2013.761081

Houlson, Van, Kate McCready, and Carla Steinberg Pfahl. "A Window into our Patron's Needs: Analyzing Data from Chat Transcripts." Internet Reference Services Quarterly 11, no.4 (2006): 19-39. doi:10.1300/J136v11n04_02

Naylor, Sharon, Bruce Stoffel, and Der Laan Van. "Why Isn't our Chat Reference used More?: Finding of Focus Group Discussions with Undergraduate Students." Reference & User Services Quarterly 47, no. 4  (2008): 342-54. doi: 10.5860/rusq.47n4

Nolen, David, Amanda Clay Powers, Li Zhang, and Yue Xu . “Moving Beyond Assumptions: The Use of Virtual Reference Data in an Academic Library.” Portal: Libraries and the Academy 12, no. 1 (2012): 23–40. doi: 10.1353/pla.2012.0006

Powers, Amanda Clay, Julie Shedd, and Clay Hill. "The Role of Virtual Reference in Library Web Site Design: A Qualitative Source for Usage Data." Journal of Web Librarianship 5, no.2 (2011): 96-113. doi: 10.1080/19322909.2011.573279

Guidelines/Competencies

Maness, Jack M., Sarah Naper, and Jayati Chaudhuri. "The Good, the Bad, but mostly the Ugly: Adherence to RUSA Guidelines during Encounters with Inappropriate Behavior Online." Reference & User Services Quarterly 49.2 (2009): 151-62. doi: 10.5860/rusq.49n2

Pittman, Kim and Gardner, Gabriel. “Ask Us! Creating, Assessing, and Improving Chat Reference Services in Your Library, 2012 . (presentation, Minnesota Library Association's Academic and Research Libraries Division (ARLD) Day, Chaska, MI, 27 April 2012)

RUSA Task Force on Professional Competencies. “Marketing/Awareness/Informing - Assessment.” Professional Competencies for Reference and User Services Librarians, January 26, 2003. http://www.ala.org/rusa/resources/guidelines/professional

Thomsett-Scott, Beth. Implementing virtual reference services. Chicago: American Library Association, 2013.

Professional Development

Books

Primary Research Group. Virtual Reference Benchmarks. N.p.: Primary Research Group, 2014.

Thomsett-Scott, Beth, ed. Implementing Virtual Reference Services: A LITA Guide. Chicago: ALA TechSource, 2013.

Kern, M. Kathleen. Virtual Reference Best Practices: Tailoring Services to Your Library. Chicago: American Library Association, 2009.

Kovacs, Diane. The Virtual Reference Handbook: Interview and Information Delivery Techniques for the Chat and E-Mail Environments. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2007.

Lankes, R. David, Scott Nicholson, Marie L. Radford, Joanne Silverstein, Lynn Westbrook, and Philip Nast, eds. Virtual Reference Service: From Competencies to Assessment. Virtual Reference Desk Series. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2007.

Hirko, Buff, and Mary Bucher Ross. Virtual Reference Training: The Complete Guide to Providing Anytime, Anywhere Answers. Chicago: American Library Association, 2004.

Coffman, Steve. Going Live: Starting & Running a Virtual Reference Service. Chicago: American Library Association, 2003.

Lankes, R. David, Charles R. McClure, Melissa Gross, and Jeffrey Pomerantz, eds. Implementing Digital Reference Services: Setting Standards and Making it Real. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2003.

Lipow, Anne Grodzins. The Virtual Reference Librarian’s Handbook. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2003.

Blogs

ALA TechSource Blog

Digital Reference

libraryh3lp

OnlineInsider

QuestionPoint: 24/7 reference services

Websites

ALA TechSource

Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki

OCLC Research

Pew Internet Reports

Virtual Reference: A Selected Annotated Bibliography (ALA)

Listservs

LIBREF-L: This list serv provides a moderated discussion of issues related to reference librarianship, including, but not limited to virtual reference.

Web4Lib: This mailing "is for  the discussion of issues relating to the creation, management, and support of library-based World-Wide Web servers, services, and applications," includes the technical aspects of a virtual reference service.

Videos 

Quick Tips for Successful Virtual Reference

“Way Sweet” or “Just Wrong:” Users and Librarians Reveal Critical Factors for Virtual Reference Service Excellence (ALA Annual 2009)

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