An overview of the process and ramifications of starting and running an online library reference service. Using checklists, it covers the basics of designing, implementing, operating and marketing a virtual reference service, including a study of the costs and a look into the future.
Steve Coffman is one of the leading authorities on digital reference services for libraries. Currently Vice President for Product Development at LSSI (Library Systems and Services Inc.), he has helped thousands of libraries around the world migrate their reference services to the Web. He previously worked as Director of Research Services at FYI, a fee-based business reference service that was part of the County of Los Angeles Public Library. A popular speaker and prolific author, his articles on virtual reference services have appeared in numerous library trade journals. He holds his MLS from UCLA.