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Virtual Reference Services: Consortium Versus Stand-alone
College & Undergraduate Libraries (2007)
  • Bradley Wade Bishop, University of South Florida
  • Matt Torrence, University of South Florida
Researchers performed a cost and benefit analysis of the University of South Florida's locally controlled chat service and compared the results to the advantages and expenses associated with a chat consortium. An evaluation of chat sessions revealed that a substantial portion of the inquiries received relate to university-specific interests. In addition to the local nature of chat questions, library staff used USF statistics to estimate the staffing, software, and training costs of the current chat reference service. The collaborative service under consideration involves both additional costs and benefits. A final decision, however, requires an in-depth assessment of several factors. Supplementary factors in this examination include a brief history of USF virtual reference service and the current trends in instant messaging that support the continuance of chat reference.
Publication Date
Citation Information
Bradley Wade Bishop and Matt Torrence. "Virtual Reference Services: Consortium Versus Stand-alone" College & Undergraduate Libraries Vol. 13 Iss. 4 (2007)
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