Checking date: 14/05/2024

Course: 2024/2025

Digital Reference Services
Master in Libraries, Archives and Digital Continuity (Plan: 500 - Estudio: 335)


Department assigned to the subject: Library and Information Sciences Department

Type: Electives
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


Requirements (Subjects that are assumed to be known)
No one
SPECIFIC COMPETENCES 1. Understand the evolution experienced by the reference services in centers and information units in the last decades. 2. Know and apply the main existing technologies in the field of digital reference. 3. Analyze the main experiences, both individual and collective, national and international, in the implementation of digital reference services. 4. Plan and develop a digital Reference project in a real environment. 5. Know the necessary parameters to carry out the evaluation of reference services.
Skills and learning outcomes
Description of contents: programme
The digital reference service is defined as the set of technologies and digital resources available in a library or information service, necessary to provide a direct professional support mechanisms for users with information needs, regardless of their location and the time of the request. Digital reference services are an evolution of traditional reference services, where the intermediary between the user and information resources is done through electronic means with the help of various computing devices and the use of tools and Internet applications . However, the dynamic nature of the Internet creates ever-changing information environments, constantly changing the ways in which digital information is supplied and, consequently, accessed by the end user. Given these considerations, the course contents are: Unit 1. Concept and definition of digital reference 1.1 Origin and evolution 1.2 The virtual reference versus other reference 1.3 Definition and essential functions of a digital reference service 1.4 Criteria of quality: recommendations of the IFLA Unit 2. Models and cooperation 2.1 Models of digital reference 2.2 Individual Environments 2.3 Collaborative Environments 2.4 Ethics and reference service policies Unit 3. Staff of the Reference Service 3.1 Professionals 3.2 Defining competencies: 3.3 Identify training needs Unit 4. Elements of technology: e-mail to video conferencing 4.1 Basic Software 4.2 Advanced Software 4.3 Groupware 4.4 Criteria for selection Unit 5. Planning and management 5.1 Getting information from the environment 5.2 Design service policy 5.3 Select Software 5.4 Working Group 5.5 Marketing Unit 6. Sources for reference service 6.1 User Needs 6.2 General Sources 6.3 Specialized sources 6.4 The industry databases Unit 7. Evaluating the digital reference service 7.1 Purpose and objectives of the evaluation 7.2 Models of assessment 7.3 Assessment of resources 7.4 Assessment of transactions 7.5 Evaluation of services 7.6 Technology Assessment
Learning activities and methodology
TRAINING ACTIVITIES OF THE STUDY PLAN RELATED TO SUBJECTS AF1 Individual work for the study of theoretical and practical materials developed and contributed by the teacher AF2 Individual work for problem solving and case studies AF3 Theoretical-practical classes AF4 Tutorials AF5 Group work AF6 Active participation in forums enabled by the teacher in the virtual educational platform AF7 Perform self-assessment test for content review. Código actividad Syncronity Total Hours Total hours sincronicity % Students presenciality AF1 NO 240(60) 0 0 AF2 NO 180(45) 0 0 AF3 SÍ 24(6) 24(6) 100% AF4 NO 20(5) 24 (6) 0 AF5 NO 240(60) 0 0 AF6 SÍ 8(2) 24 0 AF7 NO 8(2) 24 0 TOTAL MATERIA(ASIGN.) 720(180) 96 TOTAL SUBJECT(COURSE) 720(180) 96(6) TEACHING METHODOLOGIES MD1 Presentations in the teacher's class with support of computer and audiovisual media, in which the main concepts of the subject are developed and the bibliography is provided to complement the students' learning. MD2 Critical reading of texts recommended by the teacher of the subject: Press articles, reports, manuals and / or academic articles, either for later discussion in class, or to broaden and consolidate the knowledge of the subject. MD4 Exposition and discussion in class, under the moderation of the professor of subjects related to the Content of the subject, as well as practical cases MD3 Resolution of practical cases, problems, etc., raised by the teacher individually or in a group MD5 Preparation of individual and group work and reports MD6 Reading of theoretical and practical teaching materials. TUTORING SCHEME The schedules of the tutorials, adjusted to the provisions of the University, may be consulted in the space of the subject in the teaching and learning platform (Global Classroom). They will include at least two sections, one for face-to-face care and the other for online care. In addition to these officially fixed tutorials for the subject, students can request and arrange with the teacher tutorials online or offline outside of those schedules.
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 50
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 50
Calendar of Continuous assessment
Basic Bibliography
  • . New directions in reference (2006).. Nueva York: The Haworth Information Press..
  • . New directions in reference (2006).. Nueva York: The Haworth Information Press..
  • Bopp, R. E., & Smith, L. C. (2001).. Reference and information services: An introduction (3rd ed.). Englewood: Libraries Unlimited..
  • Farmer, L. S. J. (2007).. The human side of reference and information services in academic libraries : Adding value in the digital world.. Oxford: Chandos.
  • Federación Internacional de Asociaciones de Bibliotecarios y Bibliotecas. (2004).. Recomendaciones para el servicio de referencia digital.. Madrid: Anabad.
  • Ford, C. (2008).. Crash course in reference.. Westport: Libraries Unlimited..
  • Fourie, I. (2006).. How LIS professionals can use alerting services.. Oxford: Chandos Publishing..
  • García, I. L., & Portugal, M. (2008).. Servicio de referencia : Una propuesta integradora.. Buenos Aires: Alfagrama..
  • Hernon, P., & Whitman, J. R. (2001).. Delivering satisfaction and service quality : A customer-based approach for libraries. Chicago ; London: ALA Editions.
  • Janes, J. (2003).. Introduction to reference work in the digital age.. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers..
  • Katz, W. A. (2002).. Introduction to reference work (8th ed.).. Boston etc.: McGraw-Hill.
  • Kovacs, D. (2000).. Building electronic library collections : The essential guide to selection criteria and core subject collections.. New York ; London: Neal-Schuman.
  • Lankes, R. D. (2000).. Digital reference service in the new millennium : Planning, management, and evaluation.. New York ; London: Neal-Schuman Publishers..
  • Meola, M., & Stormont, S. (2002).. Starting and operating live virtual reference services : A how-to-do-it manual for librarians.. New York etc.: Neal Schuman.
  • Miller, J. (2009).. Internet technologies and information services.. Wesport: Unlimited..
  • Rodríguez Briz, F. (2005).. Los servicios de referencia virtual : Surgimiento, desarrollo y perspectivas a futuro.. Buenos Aires: Alfagrama..
  • Ross, Celia (2013).. Making Sense of Business Reference: a Guide for Librarians and Research Professionals. American Library Association Editions.
  • Thomsen, E. (1999).. Rethinking reference : The reference librarian's practical guide for surviving constant change.. New York etc.: Neal-Schuman Publishers..
  • Whitlatch, J. B., & American Library Association. (2000).. Evaluating reference services : A practical guide.. Chicago: American Library Association..
  • . The virtual reference desk : Creating a reference future(2006).. London: Facet..
  • . The virtual reference desk : Creating a reference future(2006).. London: Facet..
  • Kern, M.Kathlen. (2009).. Virtual reference best practices.. Chicago: ALA..
  • Kovacs, D. (2007).. l reference handbook : Interview and information delivery techniques for the chat and E-mail environments.. London: Facet..
  • Lankes, R. D. (2008).. Virtual reference service from competencies to assessment.. London: Facet..
  • Lipow, A. G. (2003).. The virtual reference librarian's handbook.. New York; Berkley: Neal-Schuman Publishers; Library Solutions Press..

The course syllabus may change due academic events or other reasons.