Marcum, Brad
May 2005
Kentucky Libraries;Spring2005, Vol. 69 Issue 2, p19
Academic Journal
This article focuses on digital reference services. The development of various forms of digital reference services and their growth in popularity over the last decade or so has placed the future of traditional reference service in doubt. There is a growing movement in both academic and public libraries to provide twenty-four hour digital reference service to patrons both on and off campus. For the purposes of this examination, the term "digital reference" will include various electronic means to provide reference service: email communication and mailing lists, electronic chat rooms, all Web based voice and video communication both in real time (synchronous) and time delayed (asynchronous), as well as to a limited extent, telephone communication. This article will attempt to identify some issues involved in the ongoing transition to these methods of information provision and will examine some of the new ideas and technology changing the reference world. It will not examine the use of electronic databases and tools typically used by librarians at the reference desk to assist patrons in retrieving information.


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