System Librarian/Analyst, Government Online Task Force
National Library of Canada
Manager, Cooperative Reference Services
Digital reference services constitute a new but rapidly growing extension of the traditional reference service offered to users of information services, and enable cooperation in delivery across the library, archival, museum, and corporate communities. While the service may be delivered via real-time chat or asynchronous e-mail/Web mechanisms, the essential characteristic of the service is the ability of the user to submit questions and to receive answers via electronic means. These reference services are being implemented at a rapid pace as small local cooperatives, statewide networks, nationwide (but for particular sectors), and even globally. NISO has undertaken a project to develop protocols that will enable interaction between separate network reference services or domains in order to broaden their effectiveness.
This session will describe the motivation for this work, the potential applicability and value of a protocol standard, how the standard is evolving, and expectations for trial use.