Virtual Reference Services: Current Practices and Future Recommendations report

By: Ellysa Cahoy

The Virtual Reference Services (VRS) Strategic Action Team was charged in fall 2018 with optimizing virtual reference services now and for the future. Our Team looked closely at VRS and asked the following of our current service provision:

Do we have sufficiently qualified personnel to effectively run VRS?
Are the Libraries providing the needed hours of coverage for VRS users?
Is the current VRS software effective for service and statistical assessment needs?
Are additional marketing efforts needed to promote VRS effectively?
What is the place of VRS in the wider reference environment at Penn State?

The latest draft of the Team’s report is available here.

Your feedback is welcome and encouraged! If you would like to share comments on the report, please email the team here:

With thanks,

Virtual Reference Services Strategic Action Team
Ellysa Cahoy, Education Librarian, Chair
Carmen Gass, User Services Training Coordinator
Janet Hughes, Biological Sciences Librarian
Meg Massey, Manager, Interlibrary Loan
Tara Murray, Arts & Humanities Librarian
Tom Reinsfelder, Head Librarian, Penn State Mont Alto
Claire Salvati, Reference Librarian
In consultation with Ann Snowman, Head, Access Services