I’m archiving this review, originally published on The Tech Static:
This book stems from an advanced LIS course taken by twenty doctoral students at the University of North Texas SLIS in 2005. The group focused on freely available virtual reference tools for their class projects, and five of the resulting course essays were edited and included here. Virtual Reference on a Budget is useful for any professional librarian whose responsibilities include planning or implementing a virtual reference service at their library. The essays are well-researched and provide extensive bibliographies as well as concrete details, while the case studies include examples from a special needs implementation, K-12 libraries, and an academic library. Public libraries are notably absent, however, but the findings presented should extend to all types of libraries. Also included is a detailed step-by-step description of the process of setting up a virtual reference service, although Virtual Reference on a Budget is not a technical title. Recommended for purchase for academic libraries, as well as for the personal libraries of professional librarians with an interest in the topic.
Steve McCann is the Digital Projects Librarian at The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, The University of Montana.