Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Document Type



This study examines the changes in the way reference services are offered to users of public libraries in selected countries of the Muslim world. Electronic reference service is being adopted in many countries. It is useful to know whether such practices are being adopted by public libraries in the Muslim world.A survey of public library websites in selected countries was conducted, using a maturity scale of 0 to 5. The study revealed that not a single public library had a score of 5, which was assigned to libraries that offer virtual reference service in real time and 24/7. Only the public libraries in Egypt, Malaysia , and Saudi Arabia scored 4, which was assigned to libraries that have a web form designed solely for reference service. There is some indication that a country's rate of adoption of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) may influence the adoption of virtual reference service.