Recent Changes to Reference Services in Academic Libraries and Their Relationship to Perceived Quality: Results of a National Survey

Jason Coleman, Melissa N. Mallon, Leo Lo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


A national survey of academic librarians was conducted to examine relationships among reference service staffing changes, reference service innovations, adoption of reference technology, library type and size, and service quality. Analysis of the 606 response sets reveals trends toward reduced use of librarians and increased use of student staff at in-person service points, widespread increases in appointment-based and self-service reference, intensive efforts to reduce demand for reference by improving library instruction, and general improvements in reference service quality. Factors strongly associated with decreases or increases in quality are discussed in detail and implications for reference managers are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)673-696
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Library Administration
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 17 2016


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Administration
  • Library and Information Sciences

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