Providing digital reference service is sometimes like shooting rapids! Public domain photo of 'River Rapids' courtesy of GeekPhilosopher.com. Digital Reference Service
for Business Executives

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INFORMATION-SEEKING BEHAVIOUR

INFORMATION SOURCES

SERVICE DESIGN

REACTIVE SERVICE

REACTIVE SERVICE: EMAIL AND "CHAT" REFERENCE

PROACTIVE SERVICE

"VALUE-ADDED" SERVICE

LIBRARIAN SUBJECT KNOWLEDGE

CONCLUSION

REFERENCES

BUSINESS INFORMATION LINKS

ABOUT THIS SITE

Providing digital reference services to business executives is a challenge. The business world is fast-paced, volatile, and covers an amazing breadth of products and services. Business executives require large volumes of current, broad-based information in order to make decisions that ensure the success of their companies. Their methods of gathering this information are somewhat unique, and because of this it can be difficult to see how the reference librarian can fit into the process. However, with some understanding of business executives' information-seeking behaviour, and by taking advantage of technological advances in information provision, the digital reference librarian can provide high quality service.

Business organizations can be of many types and sizes, ranging from production to service industries, and from small organizations employing one to twenty people, to those employing thousands of people. The literature regarding the information seeking behaviours of the people who make the decisions in those organizations is similarly broad. For the purposes of this paper, the term "business executive" will therefore be broadly defined as follows: "a person or body with managerial or administrative responsibility in a business organization, etc.; a senior business person" ("Executive"). This definition, then, includes the main person or group in charge of the organization, and also others who may administer part of the larger organization. It would include all those in the organization with the authority to make, or to have significant input into, the decisions governing the operation of the organization, such as middle to upper managers, internal or external project managers, consultants hired for specific projects, and small business owners or managers.

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This site was created by Linda Harmata to fulfill the requirements of LIS 600 (Capping Exercise) in completion of a
Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) from the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta.
Last updated: March 10, 2004

Photo courtesy of GeekPhilosopher.com