What's wrong with virtual reference?

Elena OMalley Elena_OMalley at emerson.edu
Fri Oct 1 13:38:08 EDT 2004

Karen G. Schneider wrote: 

> VR is a potentially powerful service with some major usability problems.
> Most VR relies on "killer app" software that is stuck in two silos: type of
> application (proprietary, unknown by most people) and location (library Web
> sites). (I assume Elana was being wry about library Web sites.) This

("Wry" -- that's very kind assessment. Thanks!)

No, the perfect library website design would not obviate the need for VR, or 
other reference service. However, there are a lot of variables in this social 
science of ours, and I was trying to propose (wryly) more places to look for 
the answers on VR's low usage. Maybe all the reasons aren't bad things we
need to fix or fight.

Elena O'Malley 


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