A Model of the Reference and Information Service Process

Denise E. Agosto, Lily Rozaklis, Craig MacDonald, Eileen G. Abels


Over the past decade and a half, reference and information services have increasingly moved away from library reference desks and away from libraries’ print collections into the electronic world. This article describes a study that addressed two research questions related to the changing reference and information services environment:

Data were gathered via focus group interviews with reference and information service educators and via discussions at a town hall-style meeting of faculty members and doctoral students interested in virtual reference education. The study results indicate a shift toward an increasingly interactive, collaborative reference model, in which both the reference librarian and the reference user play the roles of information seeker, information receiver, and information creator. The article concludes with a model of this process and with a discussion of implications for the provision of reference and information services.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5860/rusq.50n3.235


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