Digital reference services: an overview
Technological development in the world has brought many changes to libraries and their service deliveries. Many Libraries are trying to improve on their services by moving from face to face interaction to a digital environment. In this era of information explosion, many people rely on the internet for information and less people approach the Reference desks for assistance, hence the need for Reference librarians to take initiatives on how to bridge the gap. New technologies give reference services the opportunity to conduct reference transactions over the web and answer reference questions simultaneously with the support of the telephone and other tools. It highlights the characteristics of digital reference and the benefits to patrons. The skills needed by Reference Librarians to perform to their best were also discussed. The different stages involved in building and maintaining a good digital reference were also highlighted. The need for specialized training for Librarians and collaborative services were proposed to ensure high quality service. The need to train students and create more awareness for the service is also mentioned.
Keywords: digital libraries, digital reference service, information service, reference service, libraries
The journal allows the author(s) to hold the copyright without restrictions.| ©; 2017 ISSN: 2141 - 4297 (print) ISSN: 2360 - 994X (e-version)