Cost-effective ways of delivering enquiry services : a rapid review

Sutton, A and Grant, MJ 2011, 'Cost-effective ways of delivering enquiry services : a rapid review' , Health Information and Libraries Journal, 28 (4) , pp. 249-255.

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Background:  In the recent times of recession and budget cuts, it is more important than ever for library and information services to deliver cost-effective services. Objectives:  This rapid review aims to examine the evidence for the most cost-effective ways of delivering enquiry services. Methods:  A literature search was conducted on LISA (Library and Information Sciences Abstracts) and MEDLINE. Searches were limited to 2007 onwards. Results:  Eight studies met the inclusion criteria. The studies covered hospital and academic libraries in the USA and Canada. Services analysed were ‘point-of-care’ librarian consultations, staffing models for reference desks and virtual/digital reference services. Conclusions:  Transferable lessons, relevant to health library and information services generally, can be drawn from this rapid review. These suggest that ‘point-of-care’ librarians for primary care practitioners are a cost-effective way of answering questions. Reference desks can be cost-effectively staffed by student employees or general reference staff, although librarian referral must be provided for more complex and subject-specific enquiries. However, it is not possible to draw any conclusions on virtual/digital reference services because of the limited literature available. Further case analysis studies measuring specific services, particularly enquiry services within a health library and information context, are required.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Journal or Publication Title: Health Information and Libraries Journal
Publisher: Wiley Blackwell
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1471-1834
Related URLs:
Depositing User: MJ Grant
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2011 11:11
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 19:59

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