Friday, April 22, 2005

The future of digital reference services

Filed under: reference, Romania — plinius @ 5:53 pm

Lecture at the Biblioteca Centrala Universitara, Bucharest, Friday April 22, 1000.

Digital reference services are services that use digital tools (e-mail, web forms, chat, SMS) to communicate with users that search for information. In a wider sense the concept also includes digital systems – such as user-oriented web pages, interactive data bases, sites with advanced language technology – that allow users to carry out more advanced information searches on their own.

The lecture covers – briefly – the following topics:

  1. Important trends in the development of digital reference services, illustrated with concrete cases: time line, Finland, Norway.
  2. The growth of reference services beyond the library sector: homework support (Ask Dr. Math), expert services (Ask a philosopher), open market (Google answers).
  3. How to manage and safeguard the quality of digital reference services: communication with customers (Slavic Reference Service), internal organisation (VRD quality points 6-11), resource basis (business models).

The main conclusion is: reference services are developing into a competitive – and complex – information market. Since libraries do not charge for their services, they face a dilemma:

  1. Should they announce their reference services to the world – like Trondheim Public Library
  2. Or should they hide them?

For further exploration

  1. List of topics
  2. Web and print resources
  3. Statistics: Tord Hoivik (2003) Why do you ask? Reference statistics for library planning, Performance measurement and metrics, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 28-37.
  4. Questia

The invitation

BCU Bucuresti si CIMEC organizeaza vineri, 22 aprilie 2003, 10:00 in sala Dan Simonescu de la BCU Bucuresti, seminarul cu tema: "The future of digital reference services", in prezenta prof. Tord Hoivik (Universitatea din Oslo) – il puteti vedea la:

Seminarul care se va desfasura in limba engleza, dar – pentru cei mai timizi – intrebarile in romana vor fi traduse in engleza.

Va avea, in mare, urmatorul format:

  • a) circa 30 min. expunerea prof Hoivik;
  • b) circa 15 min. demonstratii pe web;
  • c) circa 15 min. discutii;
  • pauza
  • d) discutii libere.

Sunt invitati nu doar bibliotecarii specializati in referinte! Dar: fiindca numarul de locuri in sala este limitat, cei interesati sunt rugati sa-si anunte intentia de participare la d-na Cristina Stoica (

Pentru a va face – anticipat – o idee despre ceea ce prof. Hoivik va expune, vedeti:


1 Comment »

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    Pingback by P 69/11: Twenty questions « Plinius — Saturday, November 19, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

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