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Face to Face Reference

In: Other Topics

Submitted By Tori00
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New technologies are arguably replacing the need for libraries to provide face-to-face reference. However, by reviewing the data out there, we can see there is still a demand for the option of conducting reference sessions in-person, especially in academic libraries. Academic libraries are any library found in a four year institution, community college, or two year institution. The Facts of Reference
We will first focus on the fact that technology has forced traditional reference to expand. Technical and off-site reference is in high demand and has caused an evolution in libraries to provide their patrons with more opportunities to have their questions answered electronically. Most of us can safely assert that internet usage is ever growing. However, according to the Internet World Stats, about 78.6% of the North American population has access to the internet, which is a 153.3% increase of usage from 2000. World wide, 34.3% of the population has access to the internet. Focusing on North American libraries, we can assume that the majority of library patrons have access to the internet. Therefore, it would be detrimental to libraries and their patrons if they did not provide any type of reference online, such as a 24 hour chat service or libguide. According to the CTIA, as of December 2012, 326.4 million devices, including smartphones, feature phones, tablets, and hotspots were active. This is a significant jump from only 140.8 million active devices in December of 2002. This points to the fact that patrons are becoming more mobile and it is important that the library provides reference resources in an electronic and mobile way.
Expanding on traditional reference is important to maintain the success of libraries and to promote library usage. However, face-to-face reference is still extremely important for libraries to survive. Even though it has been…...

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