Friday, December 5, 2008

Virtual Reference Best Practices

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

From the publisher:

When it comes to virtual reference, one size doesn't fit all. What
works in one library won't necessarily work in another. How do you figure out what to do? The recently published Virtual Reference Service Guidelines from the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), which is reproduced in appendix A, provides the starting point. Kern, a leading virtual reference expert, outlines the tools and decision-making processes that will help you and your library evaluate, tailor, and launch virtual reference services that are a perfect fit for your community and your library.

Moving from general guidelines to making concrete decisions about integrating virtual with traditional reference, Virtual Reference Success
  • Provides a handy checklist of issues to consider
  • Suggests plans for sustainability of services
  • Offers activities and discussion points that support decision making
  • Shares proven sample policies and materials currently in use
  • Summarizes practical one-page "Research You Can Use"
  • Outlines the pros and cons of collaborating in a consortium
Reference librarians, heads of library services, and managers of virtual reference services will welcome this flexible approach with its wealth of exercises and resources to implement immediately. Here's everything you need to reach sound and sustainable decisions about virtual reference services.