Reference and Services Trends in Public Libraries, 2012:

 

- Traditional reference work is less relevant to the needs of users
- Rather than worrying about reference’s demise, many librarians have been energized by their newly expanded roles
- Reconfigured or eliminated reference desks
- Consolidated desks and services
- Librarian and support staff work together on the one main desk
- Librarian can handle more complicated questions
- Increased training for support staff to handle basic reference questions
- The reference interview is as pertinent as ever
- Roving reference is more important—getting out to where people are
- Expansion of self-service options (self-checkout, online group study room reservations, self-service holds, and touch screen frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) on your website/ library catalog
- Reconfiguring online reference resources for smartphones and other mobile devices
- Librarians are exploring new roles in reaching out to meet information needs
- Reference through the stacks and other indirect means
- Reduction/elimination of print reference collections
- Greater marketing and promotion of online resources and services
- Librarians will spend less time staffing desks and more time outside of library walls
- Online reference: email, chat, Instant Messaging, and SMS (short messaging services) reaches users who may not visit the library
- Online reference requires continual marketing to be successful
- Collaborating with other organizations will do as much to keep libraries alive as any project or program
- Embedded librarianship: becoming an integral part. Getting close to users by getting out into the community; being actively present with the user at the point of need.
- The big shift: we’re not doing things “for” the community, but we’re being a part “of” the community
- Libraries are shifting from the physical to the virtual facilities and media; from an individual to a community focus; from being a collection library to being a creation library; from being an archive to being a portal


Via Karen du Toit