The purpose of this paper is to highlight some of the apps currently available that can assist library personnel in reference and information services.
Initially, 101 apps were identified as possible options for reference and information services. Through various evaluation methods, the list was reduced to 25 apps. Apps were excluded due to cost, function, reviews, currency and usability. Other apps were merely excluded due to time and length concerns of the publication.
Overall, the apps included could be utilized by library staff in reference and information service, though not all are ideal in all library settings due to the requirement of subscriptions and user audiences.
While there have been in recent years quite a few articles and books published on apps for librarians, there is very little published on how exactly librarians can use apps to answer reference questions and assist patrons. This article does not attempt to answer the greater question of app application in reference services, but does attempt to identify and evaluate apps that could be used in those instances. With more research and tablet and app training, librarians can begin to more effectively utilize apps at the service desk.
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