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Year Published: 2013
Social web technologies present an often confusing array of options for answering user reference questions. Applying 20 years’ experience as a reference librarian working through the development of virtual reference and the integration of new tools and technologies into the industry, Thomsett-Scott lays out how libraries are using vendor services such as LibraryH3lp, LibAnswers, and Text a Librarian, as well as free tools like Twitter and Google Voice for their reference needs. Practitioners offer details on virtual reference services such as Twitter Search, instant messaging services such as Google Voice and Chat, and collaborative services such as My Info Quest.
Table of Contents
1 Virtual Reference Services: Considerations and Technologies
2 Using Twitter for Virtual Reference Services
Ellen Hampton Filgo
3 Using Google Voice and Chat for Reference at the Kelvin Smith Library
Brian C. Gray
4 Virtual Reference at UNLV Libraries: From Infancy to Popular Student Service
Sidney Lowe and Darcy Del Bosque
5 Instant Messaging for Virtual Reference
6 Embedded Librarians Using Web 2.0 Services for Reference
Ellen Hampton Filgo
7 My Info Quest: A National Text Reference Message Service
Lori Bell, Lili Luo, and Tom Peters
8 AskColorado: A Collaborative Virtual Reference Service
About the Contributors
About the Authors
Beth C. Thomsett-Scott is currently the engineering librarian at the University of North
Texas Libraries. In her previous role as reference unit manager, Thomsett-Scott assisted with
establishing the libraries’ Meebo service, as well as their chat and text messaging services. She
has been with the UNT Libraries for ten years with previous positions held at the University
of Guelph and University of Western Ontario Libraries. She holds a BS, MS, and MLIS from
the Universities of Guelph, Manitoba, and Western Ontario respectively. Thomsett-Scott has
served in various positions in professional associations including the American Library Association,
Special Library Association, and the Texas Library Association. She has published
in a variety of journals and presented conference sessions in the areas of website usability,
mentoring and training reference staff and students, and technology. Her passions include
virtual reference, website usability, user satisfaction studies, and technologies for reference,
instruction, and liaison.
The Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of ALA, educates, serves and reaches out to its members, other ALA members and divisions, and the entire library and information community through its publications, programs and other activities designed to promote, develop, and aid in the implementation of library and information technology.
"This volume adopts a 360-degree approach towards the topic and this makes it very informative, because it contains not only tips on technology, but also on staffing, training, marketing, and evaluation … a valuable book, enriched by illustrations and suggested readings for further exploration."