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Webology  2008 

Book Review: The human side of reference and information services in academic libraries: Adding value in the digital world

Keywords: Reference services , Information services , Academic libraries , Internet , Web , Digital world

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The application of digital technologies in libraries has mainly led to disintermediation which means, no mediation, serve yourself to information. To use most of library and information services today, users do not need to go to library or see a librarian. They can use digital resources and services at home. In some cases they may not even realise that librarians are behind the scene of the service they are getting benefit from. For example they might search for an article in Google Scholar and click and get the PDF without knowing that librarians are working to make this service, which entails serials management, IP authentication and so on, run smoothly. In this disintermediated environment, reference services are striving. They are still part of library services where there is real interaction between users and librarians. The focus of reference work have shifted from resources to users, and from finding information for users to enabling them to find the required information themselves. Having this in mind, technology can be a source of opportunity for reference librarians and not a source of challenge. The book The Human Side of Reference and Information Services in Academic Libraries: Adding value in the digital world discusses the impact of technology on different aspects of reference services.


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