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Where are we going and do I need luggage?: The future of reference services in Australian academic libraries

Burke, L. (2006) Where are we going and do I need luggage?: The future of reference services in Australian academic libraries. In: Click06: ALIA Biennial Conference, 19 - 22 September 2006, Perth, W.A.

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Earlier this year the author conducted a research project which aimed to define "reference services" within the context of the academic library and determine if the delivery and model of reference services in Australian academic libraries has changed in recent decades.

The project used a survey, conducted under the auspices of the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL), to gauge the model and delivery of reference services currently in place in Australian academic libraries.

Within the context of shrinking numbers of library staff and a shifting student population which now incorporates significant numbers of mature age, part-time, international and postgraduate students, the project explores questions such as:

1 What are the services which comprise "reference services" in today's academic library in Australia?

2 Are Australian academic libraries continuing to deliver the same reference services but using new technologies e.g. email, chat, text services?

3 Are libraries developing new reference services using the new technologies available?

4 Has the focus on the delivery of reference services altered in recent decades i.e. from an emphasis on the Reference Desk to a greater involvement in information literacy and learning and teaching?

5 Is there a continuing place for the delivery of reference services in academic libraries of the 21st century?

The author will use results of the survey to indicate trends which will assist library managers in planning reference services of the future and to assist recruitment activities, highlighting the skills and knowledge required by reference librarians in the 21st century library.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Copyright: 2006 Australian Library and Information Association
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