IFLA Digital Reference Guidelines


The purpose of these guidelines is to promote digital reference best practices on an international basis. The online environment is uniquely suited to consortial models of work and to the development of shared resources. Libraries in different countries may have different traditions of public service, which both affect their current reference practices and their patrons' expectations. But it is also important to recognize that new technologies will enable librarians to redefine the scope of their public services. These guidelines attempt to create some common standards from diverse traditions in the hope that this will allow the worldwide community of librarians to freely explore the possibilities.

Some issues raised in these guidelines may ultimately warrant additional consideration and expansion-issues such as the management of change: how does the administrator of a digital reference project mitigate the impact of new models of work on an institution's staff, schedule, and clients? Additional work might also be done to determine the exact funding requirements for these efforts in a variety of different communities, with respect to staffing, resource acquisition, and equipment.

Original language (2002)


Guidelines, Reference and Information Services

Last update: 22 September 2015