Quantifying cooperation: Collaborative digital reference service in the large academic library
journal contributionposted on 10.02.2021, 00:25 by Sandra L De Groote, JL Dorsch, S Collard, C Scherrer
The purpose of this study was to determine how successfully a large academic library with multiple reference departments and subject specialties could combine virtually to create one digital reference service. Questions were coded to determine who the users of the service were, the types of questions being asked, and the subject expertise of the librarian answering the question. The study found that the majority of questions were submitted by persons affiliated with the university, that ready reference and directional questions predominated, and that the librarians were able to successfully share the duty of answering the general reference questions while ensuring that the questions requiring subject expertise were answered by the appropriate subject specialists. Analysis of the types of questions will inform future decisions regarding webpage redesign, online instruction needs, and more appropriate FAQs (frequently asked questions.).