The Virtual Reference Librarian's Handbook, Volume 1

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Library Solutions Press, 2003 - Computers - 199 pages
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This book is intended to serve as a practical guide to librarians and their administrators who are somewhere along the path of providing virtual reference service: you are wondering about it, you are about to take the plunge, or you recently began a service. But, as it turns out, providing a virtual reference service leads to pressures for other services, so this book is also intended to help you think through the larger implications of providing a real point-of-need service for your clientele. "This book focuses on those aspects of library reference service that address the information and reading needs of those in the community who are finding more convenient, though perhaps less good, alternatives to the library. Since implementing some of the ideas in this book has an impact beyond reference, it is also intended as an opening argument for the imperative of developing an entire cyberbranch of your library. "The book is arranged in three parts: Part 1, The Decision to Go Virtual, provides the context within which to think about virtual reference. If you are on the fence about launching a virtual reference service, if you are not sure such a service is right for your library, read through this section and conduct the survey in Appendix 1. Part 2, The Process of Moving to the Virtual Desk, contains the nitty gritty of providing a virtual reference service: checklists for choosing software, exercises that give you practice in using the new skills required in the chat environment, guides for designing your service's Web space, and a structure for developing new library policies related to the service. When you are ready for hands-on work, go through this section. Part 3, Techniques for Building a Lively Service, is about marketing and publicizing. This section includes recommendations for staying in touch with your clientele's changing needs and preferences and accommodating those needs by re-evaluating your existing services

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The virtual reference librarian's handbook

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Thinking about virtual reference? Then this guide by reference expert and founder and director of Library Solutions Institute and Press is for you. Written in a clear, concise style, it leads the ... Read full review


Six Approaches to Carving Out a Niche for the New Service
Get Yourself in the Virtual Frame of Mind
Think Like Your Clients Think

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