VALA2004 Session 5 Murray

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The Internet Myth – Emerging Trends in Reference Enquiries

VALA 2004 CONCURRENT SESSION 5: Virtual Reference
Tuesday 3 February 2004, 14:00 – 14:30

Dr. Janet Murray

Director, Murray Consulting and Training Pty. Ltd

Cindy Tschernitz

Director, Tell Me Now

VALA Peer Reviewed Paper

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This paper examines the impact of greater access to electronic information, both free and fee-based, on reference enquiries. The research methodology included an extensive literature review and interviews with reference services librarians in both Australia and overseas. The assumption that greater Internet access and use equals a decline in public and state library reference enquiries is not proven. The paper concludes with a summary of trends, predictions and scenarios of usage of state and public library reference services in an increasingly electronic age, paying special attention and emphasis to the Australian environment.