Annotated Bibliography: The Reference Desk: Grand Idea or Gone Down the River?


This bibliography is from a panel presentation at the 2017 ACL Conference. The goal of this panel was to explore different rationales or sets of values that illustrated the continuation of the reference desk and reference service as essential to the success of the academic community. We discovered that “what to do with reference” is far from a settled question. We discovered passionate arguments, diverse models, and an array of data. In this current stage of figuring out the value of academic libraries to the campus as a whole and to students in particular, it seemed that there was limited hard data connecting Reference services to how they met students’ needs. How do we make ourselves valuable, important, essential, and useful? Maybe we need to change our model? If so, how do we examine ourselves and our environment appropriately to make this happen? What factors should we examine? Which ones must we keep? What things can we discard or change? When students come to seek assistance, they generally need the short, instant, and personal help, without having to attend a whole training session or class. Individual and personalized guidance for their immediate need is the most important factor for them. How do libraries provide that

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