Reference service without the desk

Theresa S. Arndt, Theresa Arndt
2010 Reference Services Review  
Purpose: This article describes how a college library critically examined its maintenance of a traditional reference desk for in person services and changed its service model to suit local needs. Design/methodology/approach: We examined quantitative and qualitative reference use data prior to changing our service model, and we formally articulated the purpose of reference services. Following the change we again examined use data, conducted a convenience sample survey, and measured visits to our
more » ... website. Findings: We came to the conclusion that while maintaining in person reference was important for our library, a separate desk was not the best means of providing service at our college. Following the change to our service model, use of reference and consultation services dramatically increased. Originality/value: Our new on-call, consultative reference service model is described, as is a description of how we managed the change process internally, how we marketed reference services to our students, and how we are assessing the results. Considerations for choosing a reference model appropriate to one's local conditions are outlined.
doi:10.1108/00907321011020734 fatcat:kujfk4sc7beexjducbbyimm7ha