ERIC Number: ED458868
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Reference Count: N/A
Virtual Reference Services--Down-Under: A Cautionary Tale.
Wagner, Gulten S.
Digital reference services at university libraries in Australia and New Zealand are a recent phenomena dating back to the late 1990s--following the developments in Web-based online library services. This paper examines the move towards the provision of e-mail reference services based on the study of 16 randomly chosen university libraries in Australia and 4 in New Zealand. The Web sites of these 20 university libraries were analyzed. This paper presents findings for each of the following questions posed by the study: (1) How accessible is the e-mail reference service on the library's homepage? (2) Are the parameters of the e-mail reference service fully explained in terms of types of questions handled and the maximum response time? (3) Are the guidelines of privacy or confidentiality spelled out? (4) Is there a feedback facility evaluating or commenting on this service's effectiveness? (5) Who can access the e-mail reference service? For example, is the service extended to users in the community? (6) What information is required from users of this service? (7) How useful is the design of the e-mail reference form for conducting a successful reference answering service? Further steps are also discussed. (Contains 26 references.) (AEF)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia