Social Web technologies present an often confusing array of options for answering library users’ reference questions. In “Implementing Virtual Reference Services: A LITA Guide,” published by ALA TechSource, editor Beth C. Thomsett-Scott applies 20 years’ experience as a reference librarian to sort through the clutter of tools and technologies in the industry. Contributors from across the field lay out how libraries are using vendor services such as LibraryH3lp, LibAnswers and Text a Librarian, as well as free tools like Twitter and Google Voice, for their reference needs. Practitioners offer details on virtual reference services such as Twitter Search, instant messaging (IM) services such as Google Voice and Chat and collaborative services such as My Info Quest.
Thomsett-Scott is currently the engineering librarian at the University of North Texas Libraries. In her previous role as reference unit manager, she assisted with establishing the libraries’ Meebo service, as well as their chat and text messaging services. She has served in various positions in professional associations, including ALA, the Special Library Association and the Texas Library Association. She has published in a variety of journals and presented conference sessions on the topics of website usability, mentoring and training reference staff and students and technology.
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