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As part of an assessment process, reference statistics in an academic library were examined over a twenty-year period and revealed steep declines in the numbers of reference questions asked. To attempt to halt or reverse this slide a number of interventions were attempted, including improved signage, outreach to patrons, and increased availability of chat reference. Increasing chat reference was clearly effective; the other interventions showed more modest success.


This work was originally published in Evidence Based Library and Information Practice.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons‐Attribution‐ Noncommercial‐Share Alike License 4.0 International (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly attributed, not used for commercial purposes, and, if transformed, the resulting work is redistributed under the same or similar license to this one.



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