University Libraries & Learning Sciences Faculty and Staff Publications

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Libraries that implement trigger-initiated proactive chat reference services see substantial increases in the number and complexity of reference transactions. However, it is not clear if this growth is a result of something inherent to proactivity, or other factors such as increased awareness of the service. To investigate this, we compare usage during periods with and without proactivity in databases in which our chat reference service is established. Steep and immediate increases when proactivity is enabled and sharp declines when it is disabled suggests that proactivity itself is driving the changes. We recommend human computer interaction (HCI) and user experience (UX) approaches to further understand chat reference service.



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Chat reference, proactive chat, reference services


This is a preprint. The peer-reviewed version will appear in Public Services Quarterly in May 2022.



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