- About the Authors
Virtual reference—today’s fastest-expanding library service—raises many complex policy and implementation questions. Unfortunately, this service is in an early stage and experiences are limited. This groundbreaking volume combines the most current thinking and theory from experts and relates it to real-world virtual reference projects, studies, and findings from libraries across the nation. The editors have arranged the contributions into four distinct parts—Patrons of Digital Reference Services, Digital Reference Librarians, Digital Reference Services and Policies, and The Broader Context of Digital Reference—to highlight the users, staff, services, as well as societal, legal, and political environments within which digital reference services exist. The 13 chapters are based on presentations at the Virtual Reference Desk Conference, the nation’s premier event for digital reference practitioners, that have been developed, updated, and refined for inclusion here. They cover design, operation, and marketing of services; user perceptions; training; personal interaction; policies; best practices and guidelines; user surveillance and privacy; and much more.