Aardvark – the virtual reference desk

Have you seen this?

http://vark.com/

“Crowdsourcing” reference questions was one of the themes of the ALA TechTrends webinar that Dana, Michelle, and I attended, and it appeared at several points during the Handheld Librarian II conference. Many see it as an extension of what lots of libraries are already doing – joining a consortium so that one librarian, when s/he’s on duty, is responsible for responding to the virtual reference questions (sent via IM, email, text) of students who may or may not be at the librarian’s home university. Some have followed that thought to its logical conclusion. . .why should only librarians be responsible for answering these reference questions? Perhaps in the future (which is NOW) students will use sites like Aardvark for most of their questions and librarians (cybrarians) will work in a context less tied to the reference desk.

Want to weigh in on this controversial topic? Submit a comment below. šŸ™‚

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