Virtual Services in the Health Sciences Library: A Handbook

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Virtual services have been part of health sciences libraries for a long time in various forms, including the provision of reference and research services via email or chat, availability of online instruction, access to electronic materials, and the curation of virtual research guides. But when the COVID-19 pandemic forced many libraries to close their doors and pivot to virtual services almost overnight. Moving all services remote, even for just a short time, did highlight what worked well and what did not. The situation increased visibility of these services and made patrons more aware of what was available, perhaps making them more likely to expect and use those services in the future. In some ways, the pandemic showed us ways in which virtual services could even be better than in person services for providing prompt patron services. The situation increased visibility of existing services, making users more aware of what was available, and revealed gaps and needed improvements in virtual services.

In this book co-published by the Medical Library Association, librarians from academic to hospital health sciences libraries, from rural to urban areas, and across a range of service specialties provide blueprints and best practices for building and maintaining sustainable virtual services in health sciences libraries. Each chapter in this volume addresses aspects of providing virtual services in information and access services, reference and instruction, collections, and clinical services written by contributors who have been involved in this work in their own libraries.

Whether you are just beginning an implementation, assessing and refining current offerings, or strategizing for sustainability and looking to the future, this book will provide practical advice, tools, and considerations for maximizing user engagement and satisfaction with virtual library services and resources.

Imprint: Rowman & Littlefield

Published: 2022

Paper Binding

Pages: 160

Sku: 9781538155431

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