Report of the Task Force on Services at a Distance submitted to University of Toronto Library Council, March 2000
An extensive literature search looked at national guidelines, other such services already in place, operating features of some of these, and North American projects such as the Library of Congress-sponsored Collaborative Digital Reference Services pilot. Practical advice and possible applications are noted. A questionnaire distributed to University of Toronto libraries was designed to gather information about reference and resource services presently in place and planned for the future. The twenty-nine replies received show that our libraries are all looking at ways to provide additional and innovative support to remote users. Good interlibrary loan/document delivery service, adequate consultation with faculty, staffing and training, and strong technical support are primary concerns. Testing new technologies, as did the UTLive pilot, and incorporating them into services offered at a distance will help ensure the best possible access and service to our users. It will also encourage vital partnerships with other organizations.