Closing the Reference Desk: Increasing Number of Questions Asked, and Level of Librarian Embeddedness
In January 2016, Dana Medical Library closed its physical Reference Desk and moved to an on-demand reference service model. Reference needs are now predominantly met by para-professional staff at a Main Desk. Librarians answer chat, email and telephone questions in their offices on a shift basis, and respond to more complex questions from in person walk-ins referred from the Main Desk. Patrons can also schedule consultations directly with librarians. Over a year later, the number of interactions has increased, and librarians are more engaged in units across campus. This poster explores the transition from physical desk to on-call service, and posits why such a change has positively impacted patron interaction with the library. This poster offers viewers lessons learned, and suggestions for making similar changes in other libraries.
reference desk, library information services, tiered reference service, library staffing
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Haines, Laura and Stokes, Alice, "Closing the Reference Desk: Increasing Number of Questions Asked, and Level of Librarian Embeddedness" (2017). University Libraries Faculty and Staff Publications. 78.