The decline in the number of face-to-face reference transactions has implications that are of concern to librarians, as well as the faculty and students we serve. A strategy to address this is to take reference to locations that are “more convenient” for users – locations where they already work, study and gather.
Three reference librarians shared their experiences with offering services in non-library settings, such as a faculty office building, a computer lab in a classroom, a student lounge, and a departmental library room. The objectives and experiences of these librarians vary, as do their specialized subject disciplines. This presentation detailed the spaces, scheduling, advertising, faculty/student relationships, evaluation/assessment strategy, and future plans unique to each locale. Handouts included a checklist of considerations for those planning mobile reference service, and a list of benefits and disadvantages from offering these services.
Library and Information Science
Liston, Karen; McGinnis, Rhonda; and Wilmes, Nancy A., "Location! Location! Location!: Reference Service in Non-Library Settings" (2008). Library Scholarly Publications. Paper 16.