Your place or mine: Face-to-face reference services across campus

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New Library World





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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present a case study which describes reference and instruction outreach programs promoted by the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Library. Direct-2-U Reference, Crash Courses, and Drop-In Tours reached out to students in innovative ways to encourage non-library users to see what they were missing and to give current library users even more choices. Direct-2-U Reference provided opportunities for students to get research help on their own turf. Librarians offered assistance at several locations across campus, combining the benefits of face-to-face reference with the convenience of getting help without going to the physical library. Library Crash Courses promoted subject-specific assistance without the formality of in-class instruction. Drop-In Tours allowed curious students to figure out the layout of the library and get answers to their questions.

Design/methodology/approach – This case study describes researching alternative services, and includes practical information on how services were implemented. Information is presented about ongoing evaluation of the outreach programs that improved the direction, marketing, and overall success of the programs.

Findings – The outreach programs promoted by the library reached additional users, provided more options for patrons, and improved the visibility of the library campus-wide.

Originality/value – This case study will be of interest to other academic librarians wanting to provide library services outside the library. It builds on the existing literature regarding library outreach services.


Academic libraries – Reference services; Electronic reference services (Libraries); Library outreach programs; Library users; Reference services (Libraries ); University of Texas System; University of Texas at San Antonio


Archival Science | Library and Information Science




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