Reference Questions in the Library of the Future

This article from the Chronicle of Higher Ed. covers a shotgun blast of trends observed at academic library reference desks.

There aren’t any secrets revealed in the text, although I did like that the article highlighted the value that a library information commons can have in helping to bridge the library of the past with the library of the present (even if an IC is sans big plasma screen… although we would LOVE to have one!).

The author suggests that the nature of the questions has changed over the years, and that although Google is fielding its share of the queries (and providing a few thousand possible sources for answers), reference desks are still seeing questions albeit at an often higher level.

I’ve observed this to be true, although i wouldn’t discount that a good number of questions continue to be directional and those of a technical troubleshooting nature. In my library, we’ve also noticed a lot more scheduled, in depth consultations between librarians and students or faculty.

Nevertheless, as the author concludes, there’s still much to do so don’t start packing yet. I tend to agree. Assuming we continue to evolve with the users and remain open to change, there’s *always* going to be more than enough work to keep us going.

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