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When to use general network level services to get library work done, and when to develop library-specific approaches?: this is a question that now comes up in several places.
Here is an interesting intiative from the National Library of Australia, using to support collaborative virtual reference.

AskNow librarians need to balance the time necessary to search for reliable and freely accessible web-based resources, with user expectations that they will receive relevant information instantaneously. The challenge lies not only in searching for, but also evaluating websites, in a short space of time. Librarians involved with the AskNow service ( recently started using the social bookmarking tool, (, to help them meet that challenge. [AskNow’s Useful Resources – GATEWAYS – National Library of Australia]

AskNow’s webpage, at, assists librarians in finding relevant websites and online resources quickly, whilst also satisfying user expectations and matching their information needs. When a question is received the librarian can search within for an appropriate website and share it with the patron. [AskNow’s Useful Resources – GATEWAYS – National Library of Australia]


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