Why Isn’t Our Chat Reference Used More?

Sharon Naylor, Bruce Stoffel, Sharon Van Der Laan


Despite early reports of patron enthusiasm with chat reference, usage of this service has been disappointing at some academic libraries, including our own. To probe why students have not used our chat reference service more, we conducted in-depth focus group discussions with upper level undergraduates on our campus. We questioned participants—all nonusers of chat reference—about their research behaviors and their reference service preferences. Responses suggest users desire both a variety of reference services and more personalized reference services. We discuss implications for how we deliver chat reference.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5860/rusq.47n4.342


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