Steve Coffman is the Vice President for Product Development with LSSI (Library Systems and Services Inc.), a feisty band of librarians that provide professional library services to a wide variety of institutions including the Office of Veterans Affairs, Washington DC; Riverside County Library, Riverside, CA; Lancaster Library, Lancaster TX, Calabasas Library, Calabasas, CA; Hemet Library, Hemet, CA; Chatham College, Pittsburgh, PA, and many more.
- Table of Contents
- About the Authors
If your customers don't sleep, why should your reference service? Online library reference services available 24/7 are offered in a growing number of institutions. With many models to choose from and more details to be worked out, it is a critical time for librarians to assess their patrons' needs and market their services to address these needs.
Collecting and documenting what thousands of virtual reference librarians have learned over the past few years, this comprehensive guide provides a needed overview to help new and aspiring virtual reference library departments—and their directors and administrators, reference librarians, and project managers—to understand the entire process and its ramifications. Here are the basics of designing, implementing, operating, and marketing a virtual reference service from the ground up.
In a text supplemented with checklists so no key element is forgotten, this reference offers the real-world answers from leading experts to the most common questions:
- Where has Web-based library reference come from and where is it going?
- What is the best digital reference software to address specific needs?
- Who should staff the virtual reference desktop? How do they get hired and trained?
- When and how does a library market such a radical new service?
- Why are evaluations and system enhancements critical to the future of digital reference?
With a look into the costs, and a look into the future, supplemented with the most comprehensive bibliography available on the topic, Going Live is a one-stop resource for getting started in digital reference services.
Chapter 1: Reference: The First One Hundred Years
Chapter 2: Getting Started: Designing Virtual Reference Systems
Chapter 3: Managing Virtual Reference Services
Chapter 4: Marketing Virtual Reference Services
Chapter 5: Where Do We Go from Here?
A: Software Feature Checklist
B: Sample Pre-employment Screening Test and Key
Virtual Reference Services Bibliography
by Bernie Sloan
"...includes an overview of many questions that need to be answered when providing real-time, online reference service."
"...explains how to design, implement, operate, and market the service."
"The chapters cover what librarians will need to know to design, manage, market, and evaluate such programs...you would not go wrong with this one."
"Going Live: Starting & Running a Virtual Reference Service Coffman explains how to design, implement, operate, and market the service and also includes handy checklists. If the patrons aren't coming into the library, virtual reference is one way to take the library to them."
"This book will help one anticipate what's on the road ahead and avoid the dangerous curves...easy-to-read volume...I would recommend Going Live for anyone undertaking a virtual reference project...With this book and information from other perspectives, a smooth journey to "going live" is almost certain."
—Reference & User Services Quarterly
"...provides an overview to help new and aspiring virtual reference library departments to understand the process and its ramifications."
—Computers in Libraries