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Roving librarian at a mid-sized, UK based University

Sharman, Alison and Walsh, Andrew (2012) Roving librarian at a mid-sized, UK based University. Library Technology Reports, 48 (8). pp. 28-34. ISSN 0024-2586

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Chapter 5 of Library Technology Reports (vol. 48, no. 8) “Rethinking Reference and
Instruction with Tablets” details the “Roving Librarian” project carried out at a mid-sized
UK university. All subject librarians have been equipped with iPads or Android tablets and
sent out to rove. Regular times and places across the university have been arranged,
primarily in social areas and working spaces where students congregate; a librarian takes a
tablet computer and offers personalized assistance to students in these varied places.
Alongside this, ad hoc support is offered to staff and students in meetings and casual
encounters, facilitated by the constant access to the mobile devices. This chapter covers the
benefits we have seen with the project and gives the results of a questionnaire carried out to
determine whether a student would be likely to use the library more after their encounter with
the Roving Librarian.

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Item Type: Article
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Schools: Computing and Library Services
Computing and Library Services > Centre for Innovation in Information Services
School of Education and Professional Development > Centre of Lifelong Learning and Social Justice > Technology Enhanced Learning Research Group
Related URLs:

Cheetham, W. and Gray, M.L. (2007) From table to tablet – how a wireless tablet PC could help to deliver a new customer service paradigm in a public library. Conference paper from ALIA Information Online conference, Sydney, January 2007 Available at:

Darcy Del Bosque, & Kimberly Chapman. (2007). Your place or mine? face-to-face reference services across campus. New Library World, 108(5/6), 247-262. doi:10.1108/03074800710748803

Dempsey, M. (2011). Blending the trends: A holistic approach to reference services. Public Services Quarterly, 7(1-2), 3-17. doi:10.1080/15228959.2011.572769

Goodall, Deborah and Pattern, David (2011) Academic library non/low use and undergraduate student achievement: a preliminary report of research in progress. Library Management, 32 (3). pp.159-170. doi:10.1108/01435121111112871

Kukulska-Hulme, A. and Traxler, J. (2005) Mobile teaching and learning. In: Kukulska-Hulme, A and Traxler, J Mobile learning: a handbook for educators and trainers. London: Routledge.
Lee, J., Hayden, K.A., MacMillan, D. (2004) “I wouldn’t have asked for help if I had to go to the library”: reference services on site. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, 41. Available at:

Leonard, W.P. (1994), Libraries without walls – field service librarianship, Journal of Academic Librarianship, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 29-30. Available at:

McCabe, K.M. and MacDonald, J.R.W. (2011) Roaming reference: Reinvigorating reference through point of need service. Partnership : The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, 6(2), 1. Available at:

Nims, J.K. (1998) Meeting students on their own turf. Research Strategies, 16 (1), pp.85-89. doi:10.1016/SO734-3310(98)90009-X

Schmehl Hines, S. (2007) Outpost reference: meeting patrons on their own ground. PNLA Quarterly 72 (1) , 12-13. Available at:

Smith, M.W & Barbara A Pietraszewski. (2004). Enabling the roving reference librarian: Wireless access with tablet PCs. Reference Services Review, 32(3), 249. Available at:

Stone, Graham, Ramsden, Bryony and Pattern, David (2012) Library Impact Data Project. Sconul Focus (54). Available at:

Stuff (2011) Stuff gadget awards 2011 – Asus Eee Pad Transformer takes Gadget of the Year. Available at:

Trump, J.F & Tuttle, I.P. (2001) Here, there, and everywhere: Reference at the point-of-need. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 27(6), 464. Available at:

Wagner, A.B. (2004) On-site reference services and outreach: setting up shop where our patrons live. Sci-Tech Contributed Papers for the 2004 SLA Conference. Available at:

Walsh, A. (2011) Martini Information Literacy: How does “anytime, anyplace, anywhere” access to information change what Information Literacy means? Available at

Depositing User: Graham Stone
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2012 10:06
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2015 04:15


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