User-friendliness of library services is an important consideration in the development of a library’s web presence. As the format and delivery of reference continue to change to accommodate user expectations and behavior, the library’s home page has become an extension of the institution’s in-person public services. In addition, an increase in distance education courses and online programs has contributed to the fact that a large number of users experience the library almost exclusively online. This poses questions regarding the usability, accessibility, and responsiveness of web reference services. In this discussion group, we will feature panelists from institutions which have innovated their approach to web reference (email, chat, FAQs, etc.) and/or conducted usability studies on how their users get answers through their library’s web portal.
The audience will benefit by:
1. An overview of current trends regarding reference services on the web, such as user-responsive chat, and new developments in accessibility;
2. A review of the literature regarding best practices for conducting web usability of library service pages;
3. Case studies and tips from panelists
This discussion is hosted by the Management of Electronic Reference Services Committee of the Emerging Technologies Section (ETS) of RUSA.
Meeting Type: Discussion/Interest Group
Content Area: Transforming: Customer & User Expectations
Interests: Adult Services, Emerging Technologies, Reference Services, Technology
Library Type: Academic, Community College, Consortium, Corporate, Public, Research Library, Undergraduate
Cost: Included with full conference registration.