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Med Ref Serv Q. 2003 Summer;22(2):41-56.

Promotion and evaluation of a virtual live reference service.

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  • 1Health Sciences Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB#7585, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7585, USA.


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Health Sciences Library began providing virtual live reference service in the fall of 2001. The library was interested in exploring new ways to interact with users accessing electronic resources from outside the library. This article describes the background for starting the service, the methods used to promote the service, and the results of an evaluation conducted after the first seven months of operation. The service was lightly used during these months with only 82 interactions. An analysis of the transcripts examined referring Web pages, types of questions asked, software features used, and user login data. Text of two user surveys is included, with the data from the in-person survey analyzed.

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