Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


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Reference Service considered as the most essential service for academic and special libraries whether or not face-to-face communication is possible. While reference services differ from one library to the next, most libraries have an information or reference desk where a librarian can assist their users. Almost all libraries provide telephone information services, and many libraries also provide reference service through email, text or chat. The present study contains the universe of sample of 20 members of the CRIKC libraries was initially used in this analysis, but the number was later increased to 29. As a consequence, the research is restricted to understanding, knowledge, technical viability, and other similar variables. Virtual Reference Service (VRS) was not available in almost all CRIKC libraries, and Synchronous VRS (SVRS) was not available in any of them. The research sample was gathered using the questionnaire system, and the data was quantitatively analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics using the software IBM SPSS. Response of librarians revealed that regarding the suitability of VRS categories towards handling different types of reference queries ‘email’ was the most viable tool for providing asynchronous VRS while in case of synchronous VRS ‘instant messaging’ (IM) (42.2%) and ‘mobile app’ (36.9%) were considered equally effective. ‘Effective utilization of staff time’ and ‘Optimum use of library collection & resources’ were considered as the most effective factors of web 2.0 enabled VRS for librarians and ‘remote access to online assistance’ would be highly effective for users. The librarians believed that ‘database and online searching skills’ was the most important competency for providing VRS. A majority of librarians opined that ‘effective assistance or support for user satisfaction’ could be the most visible derivable of collaborative VRS. An overwhelming majority of librarians (89.5%) considered ‘user demand’ as the most important factor for establishing collaborative VRS.