ABSTRACT With the advent of digital reference, the outsourcing of a portion of public service is now possible, enabling libraries to offer more hours of service at a lower cost with little awareness on the part of users. Since fall 2003, librarians at Southeastern Louisiana University have teamed up with librarians employed by a partner library and/or Tutor.com's Librarians By Request to provide a 24/7 digital reference service. A comparative analysis of digital reference transcripts and user satisfaction surveys indicates that external librarians can provide good digital reference service with a high level of user satisfaction.
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