Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


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Reference Service enables libraries to provide information to a person who needs it, directly or indirectly or teaching him how to find the needed information in the sources. With new technologies, users’ information seeking behaviour (ISB) along with their expectations from the reference service has witnessed a sea change, which motivate the Librarians to embrace the Internet as an appropriate medium for information exchange, communication, and instruction, including both synchronous and asynchronous tools and played a pivotal role in transforming the in-person desk-based TRS to VRS. Libraries in India by-and-large have implemented ILMS (e.g. RFID) for their automation but the status of VRS adoption is scarce barring a few cases wherein libraries are providing reference service through email or web-form (asynchronous). The present study contains the Universe of sample of 20 members of the CRIKC libraries at the initial stages and later the number rose to 29. Thus, the study is limited to the perception, awareness, technological feasibility and other such aspects. VRS was not being offered by almost all the CRIKC libraries and Synchronous VRS (SVRS) was offered by none of them. The study sample was collected by conducting a questionnaire method and the analysis of the data was done quantitatively with the help of both descriptive statistics and inferential statistics using the software IBM SPSS. Response of librarians regarding types of RISS provided in their respective libraries indicates that the highest response (57.9%) for “information and referral services” was provided ‘Frequently’ while 15.8% provided this service ‘very frequently’. ‘Display of new arrivals’ (94.7%) and ‘quick/ready reference and other directional services’ (79%) were provided regularly (‘Very Frequently’ and ‘Frequently’) by the majority of CRIKC institutional libraries. The preference of instruction based services provided by the libraries of select CRIKC institutions. It was found that the highest response (52.6%) for ‘access or searching OPAC’ was in ‘very frequently’ provided category while 31.6% provided this service ‘frequently’. It was found that ‘research assistance and consultation’ was actively provided was frequently provided by 47.4% (9) a service. ‘Readers advisory services’ (57.9%) were also provided by regularly (frequently and very frequently). Table 4.9Perception regarding various types of reference service, It indicates that more than 50% librarians pointed out that ‘quick/ready reference questions’ can be better handled by Virtual Reference Service (VRS) than TRS. Thus, in the light of the above facts the present study has been planned by the researcher as a meaningful understanding and deliberate investigation pertaining to the domain of VRS.