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Digital reference services: a snapshot of the current practices in Scottish libraries

Margariti, S. and Chowdhury, G. (2004) Digital reference services: a snapshot of the current practices in Scottish libraries. Library Review, 54 (1). pp. 50-60. ISSN 0024-2535

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Abstract

Discusses the current practices followed by some major libraries in Scotland for providing digital reference services(DRS). Refers to the DRSs provided by three academic libraries, namely Glasgow University Library, the University of Strathclyde Library, and Glasgow Caledonian University Library, and two other premier libraries in Scotland, the Mitchell Library in Glasgow and the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh. Concludes that digital reference services are effective forms of service delivery in Scotland's academic, national and public libraries, but that their full potential has not yet been exploited. E-mail is the major technology used in providing digital reference, although plans are under way to use more sophisticated Internet technologies. Notes that the majority of enquiries handled by the libraries are relatively low-level rather than concerning specific knowledge domains, and training the users to extract information from the best digital resources still remains a challenge.