Digital reference services: do we still need libraries?

Asimina Margariti, Gobinda G. Chowdhury

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book


Reference and information services have remained integral parts of traditional library services. However, a quick look at the current state of digital libraries reveals that till date most digital libraries have focused mainly on providing access to diverse digital information resources (Chowdhury and Chowdhury, 2002). While information interactions and human information behaviour have remained a central theme in information retrieval research, human interaction in the digital library is discussed far less frequently. Emphasizing on the need for personalised services in digital libraries, Lombardi (2000) mentions that, “helping clients find resources in a digitally chaotic world is the first priority.” In a Delphi study of digital libraries, it was revealed that “the primary roles librarians play in digital libraries include organisation (cataloguing and indexing), selection and acquisition and acting as gateways to the provision of services involving information.” (Kochtanek & Hein,1999). Downs & Friedman (1999) also point out that there is a need for end-user instruction on the use of digital libraries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDigital Libraries
Subtitle of host publicationTechnology and Management of Indigenous Knowledge for Global Access
EditorsTengku Mohd Tengku Sembok, Halimah Badioze Zaman, Hsinchun Chen, Shalini R. Urs, Sung-Hyon Myaeng
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9783540206088
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2003

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
PublisherSpringer Verlag
ISSN (Print)0302-9743


  • digital library
  • information service
  • public computer
  • reference service
  • information retrieval


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