Purpose – This paper explores the use of blogs as a platform for providing reference service, and discusses Lyceum, an open source software project from ibiblio.org, for this purpose.
Design/methodology/approach – The following topics are explored: the evolution of libraries' uses of blogs, the advantages of conducting the reference transaction as a collaborative effort, and the use of blogs as an environment that fosters collaboration. The argument is made that blogs may be used to good effect in reference services
Findings – It is argued that blogs may be used to good effect in reference services. Lyceum, an open source blogosphere application, is discussed as an environment for blog-based reference service.
Originality/value – To date, blogs are not being used by a library reference services, and by few online reference service unaffiliated with libraries. This paper will be useful to libraries and other reference services interested in conducting the reference transaction as a community effort.
Purpose – The purpose of this editorial is to examine the changing nature of the role of reference services, and to work towards a new definition of the term “reference”.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper assesses the current situation and looks forward to a new definition of “reference”.
Findings – The paper finds that a new definition of “reference” holds great promise.
Originality/value – A definition of “reference” that takes into account the activities of a twenty-first century reference librarian will serve to advance reference services and, by so doing, will both impact reference librarians' future and preserve and renew the value of reference librarianship.
Purpose – This paper aims to provide a holistic view of the current practice of chat reference evaluation and to suggest a framework that could help reference practitioners evaluate chat reference services in multiple contexts.
Design/methodology/approach – A thorough review of the literature on chat reference evaluation is conducted and the evaluation studies are grouped by their evaluative perspective and measures. Based on the literature review, a framework of perspectives and measures for chat reference evaluation is proposed.
Findings – Chat reference evaluation has incorporated a number of new elements that do not exist in desk reference evaluation. All the evaluation perspectives and measures reported in chat reference literature are incorporated into a final framework except for one variable – “cost-effectiveness” – which lacks the support of empirical studies in the literature.
Practical implications – The analytical review of the literature provides a holistic view of how chat reference is being measured for its value to both libraries and users, thus furthering the professional understanding of chat reference performance in the library environs. The framework of evaluation perspectives and measures resulting from the literature review is applicable in multiple chat reference contexts and can be customized to serve different evaluation purposes. In turn, this framework gives chat reference evaluators a clear idea of what to look at and how.
Originality/value – This paper fills the need to provide reference practitioners with both a critical view of current chat reference practice, and a tool that could help them design and develop a chat reference evaluation project.