Virtual Reference Service: An Imperative for the Jamaica Social and Economic Information Network

COLE PHOENIX, Odean (2016) Virtual Reference Service: An Imperative for the Jamaica Social and Economic Information Network. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2016 – Columbus, OH – Connections. Collaboration. Community in Session 153 - Government Libraries with Library and Research Services for Parliaments.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1477
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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.

Abstract

Virtual Reference Service: An Imperative for the Jamaica Social and Economic Information Network

The Social and Economic Information Network (SECIN) is one of the official library collaborations amongst Jamaica Government Ministries/Departments/Agencies for the creation of communities of practice. SECIN comprises of over seventy Information Units which makes it the network with the largest number of Government libraries in Jamaica. Jamaica has the technological infrastructure needed to support. According to Digicel Jamaica, in 2014 the number of its subscribers who use smartphones surpassed one million while in 2013 LIME report over 780,000 subscribers with smartphones. This increase and dependence for access to information at their fingertips have placed pressure on the information units within the Jamaica Library and Information Network (JAMLIN) as well as the Special library section of the Library and Information Association of Jamaica (LIAJA) to introduce the Virtual Reference Service consortium. The article presents a case study of the adoption of Jamaica’s virtual reference services (VRS) consortium using Rogers’s diffusion of innovation theory. In 2011, Nicholas and Sterling concluded that Jamaica was ready for a national VRS consortium. This research will appraise the readiness of Jamaica for a national VRS consortium between the Special Libraries Section of the Library and Information Association of Jamaica (LIAJA) and the Social and Economic Information Network (SECIN). The findings of this research will help the organizations to successfully introduce a new technology that can approach 100% adoption. In the future the results will be used as a consultation resource of best practices whenever the library fraternity in Jamaica proposes to introduce any new technological services.

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