Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Reforming or Rejecting the Reference Desk: Conflict and Continuity in the Concept of Reference
This paper contends that the schism between pro- and anti-reference desk librarians is not a true dichotomy. By examining the published literature on the topic, this paper asserts that the two sides actually agree that human-mediation is fundamental to references services, although the articles do examine varying methods for the delivery of reference services. While some emphasize the need to incorporate a more computer-mediated model of reference, most do not truly reject human-mediation as necessary. Those that do fail to provide a satisfactory alternative in the current social and technological context.