Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Virtual Reference Benchmarks

Virtual Reference Benchmarks. New York, NY : Primary Research Group, Inc., [2014]

The 189-page study presents results of an exhaustive questionnaire about virtual reference services answered by more than 50 academic, public and special libraries covering issues such as budgets, software and services use, consortia membership, partnerships, library staff time consumed, number of reference questions answered, time taken to provide responses, and the tracking of reference answers and the development of a reference database.

The study also looks at reference question & answer delivery vehicles such as web forms, instant messaging, email, phone, Facebook, Twitter, Skype and more. The report also looks at the various costs of virtual reference – telecommunications, manpower, technology and equipment and at how libraries are using and safeguarding their reference response databases.

The study presents data from more than 50 academic, public and special libraries about their virtual reference systems. Data is broken out separately for these types of libraries, as well as by other criteria, such as the number of years that virtual reference has been in use, type of virtual reference service offered, and library size.