Chapter 2: iPads to Enhance User Engagement During Reference Interactions

Michelle M. Maloney, Veronica A. Wells


The University of the Pacific Library’s iPad project is a coordinated effort to implement and assess the use of iPads to enhance user engagement during reference interactions. The project aims to enrich reference transactions and increase student interactivity by allowing students to use iPads at the reference desk to search the library’s resources concurrently with the librarian. Chapter 2 of Library Technology Reports (vol. 48, no. 8) “Rethinking Reference and Instruction with Tablets” presents a review of the literature that pertains to both the service aims of academic reference and its relationship to technology. The chapter discusses the logistics of the implementation process, including librarian training and the creation of core competencies for iPad use in a reference setting. Findings that were gathered from student and librarian surveys following one semester of project implementation are reported.

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