E-mail reference as substitute for library receptionist

Susan M. Braxton, Maureen Brunsdale

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


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)
Title of host publicationDigital Versus Non-Digital Reference
Subtitle of host publicationAsk a Librarian Online and Offline
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9780203050507
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic libraries
  • E-mail reference
  • Reference services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)


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