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RUSA Standards and The Virtual Librarian Service Part III

Our continuing evaluation of VLS against RUSA Standards

Section 4.0 Provision of Service

We meet the guidelines. We have a defined patron population, service notices are placed at point of use and in library publications. Orientation and information literacy programs exist. The Virtual Librarian Service manages continuity of service with shift change notes, surveys, assigned responsibilities and meetings. There is a Reference Service Policy posted which covers policies on privacy, appropriate behavior, levels of service, types of queries,  times for replies and social media issues. Some policies are repeated in the automated greeting. Inter library loans and document delivery is not offered. Service is every day so never unavailable.  Accreditation guidelines for that educational institution’s online program are met.

We meet the educational institution’s standards for faculty and staff returning replies by email. Librarians are responsible for their own continuing education but sharing of opportunities occurs between librarians. As we are not a campus library, converting to a virtual reference service, Virtual Librarian Service librarians are hired with the appropriate skill set and attitude to learning and must learn each client educational institution’s software environment and library resources. As the Virtual Librarian Service librarians are not moving from desk to online, online service behaviors are a basic requirement of the position. Even with that, training, standards, mentoring and oversight are provided to ensure quality assurance.