Measuring Quality in Chat Reference Consortia: A Comparative Analysis of Responses to Users’ Queries

Deborah L. Meert, Lisa M. Given

Abstract

Academic libraries have experienced growing demand for 24/7 access to resources and services. Despite the challenges and costs of chat reference service and consortia, many libraries are finding the demand for these services worth the cost. One key challenge is providing and measuring quality of service, particularly in a consortia setting. This study explores the quality of service provided in one academic library participating in a 24/7 chat reference consortium, by assessing transcripts of chat sessions using in-house reference quality standards. Findings point to both similarities and differences between chat interactions of local librarians versus consortia staff.

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