Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln
No Longer the Sacred Cow – No Longer a Desk: Transforming Reference Service to Meet 21st Century User Needs
Date of this Version
The reference desk is no longer an essential component of the work of academic librarians. Instruction programs are becoming stronger and more pervasive; librarians are increasing their contact with students and faculty in course-related interactions. We recognize that Google has become the primary resource for quick reference answers with students, faculty and with librarians. Students are indeed becoming more independent, as evidenced by declining reference statistics across the nation. But how are students' research needs met? Are we abandoning them altogether? At the California State University San Marcos, reference services with strong ties to the Information Literacy Program incorporate technology as well as traditional face-to-face assistance. A new reference model ensures that students find the most appropriate research assistance in a more timely fashion than the reference desk could ever provide.