Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Wither Reference?

If you haven't read the article that Elenka sent via e-mail you can link to it here
and then post your thoughts in a comment.


  1. It seems almost impossible to imagine the library without reference, or "help desk" services, but it's clear that we need to move away from being "change averse" to being accepting of change, then to embracing change, and then maybe even being change agents.

  2. I agree with Karl - It hardly seems possible that there will eventually be no need for reference help.

    Additionally, I agree that we need to be "agents" of change. At some point we may need to reorgainze the way we layout access to service in the library. Our students and faculty don't really differentiate between service provided at the Checkout, Reference, and Multimedia Desks--until we tell them they have to.

    Breaking down this and other barriers we create for our patrons will contribute to providing "convenient, accessible, responsive, effective, and flexible" services.

    Well, that's my two cents anyways..

  3. The whole idea of f2f reference service seems an enigma to me at times. The millennials grew up with mobile and portable and e-services so it's no wonder they don't often seek our f2f assistance. However, there are many, many times when I (we)help very grateful students at our f2f ref dk.

  4. I'm not sure what will happen to the state of reference services as we know it now. Who can? Are statistics down? Sure. But I do believe that the reference type service we provide to students now is valuable to those that do use it. Yep. This is perhaps our opportunity to make "personal" contacts with our students. Our service can be personal, educational, and they can walk or click away with what they need immediately.

    We all appreciate the convenience of self-service, online shopping, point of use help, etc. But for many of us sometimes it is nice to have a real live person on the phone or at the counter to take you through it or take you to it -- with a smile!

    I would hope that the library's "help services" at all of our service areas are providing a personal or added value touch. I know the Millenials appreciate it.