April 29, 2004

Pondering a New Service?

Library consultant Richard Dougherty detailed the 5 requirements of offering digital reference in the May 2002 issue of American Libraries. They include:

Acquiring the Technology
Training staff
Creating policy

These five gems could be applied to any technology planning in a library setting. You can't do one part and not do the other or you are setting your service up to fail. An untrained staff? No promotion? Forget about it!

Posted by Michael at April 29, 2004 03:36 PM

The very first thing I would suggest is a needs acessment. Does the public want this? How to they want to use a digital reference service? After hours? 24/7? Co-browsing with a librarian?

Then, I would put policy first, then promotion second. Without these first, the last three (staffing, technology acq and training) become moot point. Why have something if no one knows about it? Word of mouth and flyers are not going to help.

Posted by: Sean W. at April 29, 2004 11:05 PM
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