E-Mail Reference as Substitute for Library Receptionist

Susan M. Braxton, Maureen Brunsdale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors explore the historical development of e-mail reference services in general, and report on the evolution of this service in their own library. Based on evidence from their own service and from reports in the literature, they propose a connection between e-mail reference service and broader library services including circulation, interlibrary loan, and even acquisitions, through which the reference librarian receives questions traditionally directed elsewhere. The e-ref button presents an unexpected avenue of librarian-to-librarian communication, both within and beyond one's home institution. Implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-31
JournalReference Librarian
Issue number85
StatePublished - Jun 30 2004


  • e-mail reference
  • reference services
  • Academic librarian


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