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I agree with what you wrote about the decentralisation of reference services. Drawing on another comment from Frank Menchaca, the measurement of the effectiveness of modern reference services should be reconsidered since the delivery of reference services has evolved. Services such as simple, fast Ask a Librarian don’t have the same feedback loop as face to face interactions. If online reference services are popular at a particular library, then evaluative measures should be taken to ensure the service is as effective as in-library interactions. A reference librarian may not get to know the needs of a student to the same extent when there is only an email back and forth, rather than an in depth conversation. The evaluation of reference services must adapt alongside the delivery of these services.
I enjoyed reading your insights, Bronwyn, and am now geared up to write my own trends reflection!