Consortial Staffing

  • Overview
  • Benefits 
  • Challenges

Local Staffing



Articles & Books

  • Bishop, Bradley Wade and Matt Torrence. “Virtual Reference Services: Consortium versus Stand-Alone.” College & Undergraduate Libraries 13, no. 4 (2007): 117-127.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Guidelines & Policies


  • Weismantel, Arlene and Christine Tobias. Exploring Service Quality in Cooperative Reference. Video, 6:47. 2011.
    • In a video sponsored by ALA RUSA’s Cooperative Reference Services Committee, Weismantel and Tobias discuss Michigan State University Libraries’ two cooperative services in which they participate: Research Help Now! and OCLC 24/7 Academic Cooperative.  They speak of the benefits of cooperative reference, service quality, QuestionPoint’s attempts at familiarizing local librarians with member libraries, staffing options, training, and helpful resources.