Faculty Publications

Title

Incorporation and visibility of reference and social networking tools on ARL member libraries' websites

Document Type

Article

Keywords

24/7 live chat, Academic libraries, Reference, Social networks

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Reference Services Review

Volume

40

Issue

1

First Page

138

Last Page

171

Abstract

Purpose: This study aims to evaluate 125 research libraries in North America to identify whether they incorporate reference and social networking tools in their library's website. Design/methodology/approach: A content analysis of 125 library websites is conducted to determine whether libraries who are members of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) incorporate and promote reference and social networking tools in their website. For the purpose of this study, a list of reference and social networking tools was chosen and each library's website was visited to determine first, which reference and social networking tools from this list appear on their library's homepage and, second, which tools appear elsewhere on the library's website. Findings: The results show that even though most of these reference and social networking tools are incorporated into their library's websites, their presence is lower on their library's homepage. Practical implications: Academic and research libraries should incorporate reference and social networking tools on their library's homepage to make these services more visible and more easily accessible to their users. Originality/value: This study demonstrates the importance of the right placement for reference and social networking tools on ARL websites. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Original Publication Date

2-1-2012

DOI of published version

10.1108/00907321211203694

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