Staffing by Design: A Methodology for Staffing Reference

David Ward, Eric Phetteplace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The growth in number and kind of online reference services has resulted in both new users consulting library research services as well as new patterns of service use. Staffing in-person and virtual reference services desks adequately requires a systematic analysis of patterns of use across service points in order to successfully meet fluctuating patron needs. This article examines an assessment methodology for examining patron use of in-person and virtual reference services, and designing variable staffing models which balance the observed needs of each mode of communication and patron type.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-207
Number of pages15
JournalPublic Services Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • chat
  • reference
  • staffing
  • statistical analysis
  • virtual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


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