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March 26, 2010

Comments

stevenb

Other inquiring minds have questioned the value of these services and whether than can compare to what academic librarians offer. See:
http://chronicle.com/article/Electronic-Libraries-Can-t-Be/5122

Jason Dean

I've had a fair amount of success using Aardvark for reference-related questions:
http://vark.com

It's mostly individuals on there now, but if libraries got involved, it might get interesting!

Bill Bucharest

"per say" is spelled "per se"

Bill Bucharest

"forth" should be "fourth"

brian

Thanks Mr Bucharest.

Text a Librarian

Text a Librarian!

anita

I know a pretty good number of unemployed library school grads who have started answering questions for them at $.10 a pop - maybe quality will go up soon?

Elizabeth

Back when I was in library school I did the training for KGB before realizing that between two internships it just wasn't going to happen.

The training is actually pretty decent, but remember that they are limited based on what resources they have at their disposal and who is manning the service at any given time. We all know that if you go up to a desk with two different people chances are you'll get a different answer each time.

And while I agree that I wouldn't ask them real reference questions, it's great for bar trivia - the kinds of questions you get over the phone when working friday or saturday evenings. But given the fact that many libraries are removing librarians from the reference desk/service points (my institution just did that) - general reference services are changing all over.

Luke

I signed up to be a KGB agent. The types of questions received were ridiculous ranging from inane pop star queries to pornographic sex acts.
Each answer requires a URL source. For the amount of research required to get each legitimate answer, it is a waste of time for anybody expecting to make any money as an agent. Some people are lucky to make $1 an hour. It is not too bad if your goal is to help out and treat it like a game answering questions while watching TV and not for the pay.

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