Implementing Virtual Reference Services: A LITA Guide--eEditions e-book

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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.

1 Virtual Reference Services: Considerations and Technologies 
Beth Thomsett-Scott
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 
Beth Thomsett-Scott
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 
Kris Johnson
Suggested Reading 
About the Contributors 

Beth C. Thomsett-Scott

Beth C. Thomsett-Scott is currently the engineering librarian at the University of North Texas Libraries. In her previous role as Reference Unit manager, she 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; previously she held positions at the University of Guelph and University of Western Ontario Libraries. Her professional associations include the American Library Association, Special Library Association, and the Texas Library Association, where she has served in various positions. 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.

Library and Information Technology Association (LITA)

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."
--Public Libraries