Virtual Reference Benchmarks

Jan 2014| PRG027A| Primary Research Group

Report Highlights

The 186-page study presents results of an exhaustive questionnaire about virtual reference services answered by more than 50 academic, public and special libraries covering issues such as budgets, software and services use, consortia membership, partnerships, library staff time consumed, number of reference questions answered, time taken to provide responses, and the tracking of reference answers and the development of a reference database. The study also looks at reference question & answer delivery vehicles such as web forms, instant messaging, email, phone, Facebook, Twitter, Skype and more. The report also looks at the various costs of virtual reference – telecommunications, manpower, technology and equipment and at how libraries are using and safeguarding their reference response databases.

The study presents data from more than 50 academic, public and special libraries about their virtual reference systems. Data is broken out separately for these types of libraries, as well as by other criteria, such as the number of years that virtual reference has been in use, type of virtual reference service offered, and library size.

Primary Research Group publishes research reports, surveys, and benchmarking studies for businesses, colleges, libraries, law firms, hospitals, museums, and other institutions. Based on substantial primary and secondary research, our benchmarking studies allow institutions to compare their budgets, managerial decisions, technology purchases, and strategic visions to those of their peers.

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