Supplemental Files for: "Beyond the Library: The Role of Academic Libraries’ Chat Reference in Answering Campus Questions"

Owens, Erin
Arce, Vanessa
Del Bosque, Darcy
Fowler, Robin
Sheffield, Silvia
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The Reference Librarian (Taylor & Francis)

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic drove most users online, chat was establishing itself as a core service for asking library-related questions of many types, from basic directional and reference to research queries of a more sophisticated nature. This investigation seeks to provide insight into how academic libraries are seen not only as a source of library assistance, but also as a means of filling an information gap on a wider subject: the university campus at large. The study’s methods involved analyzing chat transcripts from five large four-year public universities during a two-year period (2019-2021), noting the frequency of campus-related chat questions and coding the specific topics of those inquiries. The findings show that library reference services, particularly live virtual chat, are consistently valuable to the campus community and may be especially important to supporting less privileged student populations.

Supplemental files to accompany journal article
academic libraries, library reference services, electronic reference services, online chat
Owens, E., Arce, V., Del Bosque, D., Fowler, R., & Sheffield, S. Beyond the Library: The Role of Academic Libraries’ Chat Reference in Answering Campus Questions. The Reference Librarian. Accepted; publication pending.