Terms of Reference
The Virtual Reference First Phase Task Group will develop plans for the introduction of virtual reference, will coordinate introduction of the service, will monitor the service through December 2002, and will make recommendations about ways in which the service might be evaluated. The Group will be a sub-group of the Information Services Management Committee (ISMC) and will include some members of ISMC and others - six people in total.
The Group will continue until at least December 2002; in December ISMC will consider what needs to happen next.
The Group will be responsible for considering various matters of policy or practice, for making recommendations about these matters, and for consulting with ISMC, those who will be providing the service, and others as appropriate as part of the decision making process. Specific questions to be considered include:
- What hours will the service be available?
- Will the service involve using print resources, or only online resources?
- Will the service be restricted to a subset of the online tools available?
- Will the service be available to anyone or will we restrict it to the UW community?
- If open to others, what level of service will we provide for them?
- Will staff who normally provide reference service at one location be trained in the use of online resources typically used at the other locations?
- How will scheduling for the service be handled?
- How will referrals to other services or staff members be handled?
When the Group begins its work, other policy/practice matters to be considered may become apparent.
The Group will also be responsible for performing various tasks, including:
- Determining a name for the service
- Preparing various supporting web-based materials (icons for the service, and information pages for the public, information pages for staff)
- Preparing canned responses for common situations
- Promoting the service
- Scheduling staff members to deliver the service
- Devising ways in which staff members may develop and maintain skills specific to virtual reference
- Developing and implementing assessment and feedback mechanisms
Other tasks may become apparent once the Group begins its work.
Prepared by ISMC April 9, 2002
November 16, 2005