walking paper: some problems with virtual reference

Aaron Schmidt at Walking Paper just posted some great points about Virtual Reference – go read it.

One point the Bailey-Hainer article Aaron mentions should be highlighted: marketing, marketing, marketing! I have seen libraries with dismal usage statistics… but they also claim to have not really marketed the service (even on a bookmark), have part-time hours for the service, etc. If you don’t tell anyone about it, no one will come. Period.

One other point. Aaron states “We need to be connecting to our patrons online.” And I agree completely… but I’m going to remove one word from his statement. It should read: “We need to be connecting to our patrons.” No matter where those patrons are – cell phone, SMS, IM, email, web-based chat, snail mail, live-in-person, at home, at school, at their job (outreach services), etc.