A Study of Web-Based Interactive Reference Services via Academic Library Home Pages


Xue-Ming Bao

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This study addresses the strategic issue of access and policy in developing web-based interactive reference services via academic library home pages. It examines the current status of web-based interactive reference services in the U.S.A. through a national survey. The study finds that less than one-half of the surveyed institutions (67 of 143 or 46.9%) use web-based interactive reference as an extension of their traditional reference services. Web-based interactive reference services are primarily used to provide brief factual information, basic guidance in conducting library research on a topic, and answer questions about library resources, services, policies, procedures, and facilities.